INDIAN POLITY

UPLOADED TO
https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK
EMAIL
swagatranjandash@gmail.COM
saswata.siet@gmail.com
DOWNLOAD ALL THESE BOOKS
FROM THE LINK GIVEN BELOW
FEBRUARY 2014 CURRENT AFFAIRS
https://www.facebook.com/groups/bankpoandclerk/630857426982808/
JANUARY 2014 CURRENT AFFAIRS
https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK/614450315290186/
DECEMBER 2013
https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK/600800526655165/
OXFORD PRACTICE GRAMMAR BY John Eastwood PAGES-436 SIZE-4.79MB
https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK/596752047060013/
English Grammar in Use By Raymond Murphy
A self-study reference and practice book
https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK/504274782974407/
OXFORD GUIDE TO ENGLISH GRAMMAR BY John Eastwood
https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK/516255345109684/
GEOMETRY BOOK FOR SSC AND UPSC EXAMS PAGES 646 SIZE - 6.49 MB
https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK/511616678906884/
IDIOMS AND PHRASES By DAVID HOLMES Pages 525 size - 1.63mb
https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK/524778944257324/
History of India and Indian National Movement
https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK/505044499564102/
ENGLISH BOOK FOR GRAMMAR WrenNMartin.pdf
https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK/456548784413674/
REASONING BOOK
https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK/456549541080265/
ENGLISH GRAMMAR english grammar.pdf
https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK/467225943345958/
IDIOMS AND PHARSES IDIOMS AND PHARSES.pdf
https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK/478055668929652/
Math with Tricks and Shortcuts Math with Tricks and Shortcuts.pdf
https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK/479663672102185/
Speed mathematics Speed mathematics.pdf
https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK/482759501792602/
BANKING AWARENESS BOOK
FOR IBPS,SBI & ALL OTHER BANK EXAMS PAGES-229 SIZE-1.35 MB
https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK/535608753174343/
MODULE - 1
Notes
1
Meaning and Scope of Political Science
Individual and the State
our course in Political Science begins with this lesson. This lesson tries to explore the
meaning of Political Science. Political Science, traditionally, begins and ends with the state.
So considered, it is the study of the state and government. The modern view of Political
Science lays emphasis on its being the study of power and authority. Political Science also
explains its ever-widening scope. Its scope includes study of the state and the study of
political system; covering the study of government, study of power; study of man and his
political behaviour and study of political issues which influence politics directly or indirectly.
In this lesson, you will study some of the core concepts like Justice and its relevance to
citizens.
Objectives
After studying this lesson you will be able to
explain the meaning of Political Science in the light of some standard definitions;
distinguish between Political Science and Politics;
describe the scope of Political Science in terms of role of the State, functions of
government and its relationship with citizens;
recognize the relevance of Justice for citizens and State.
1.1 Meaning of Political Science
Political Science is that part of social science which deals with the foundations of the state
and the principles of the government. According to J W Garner, “Politics begins and ends
with the state.” Similarly, R G Gettel wrote that Politics is the “study of the state in the
past, present and future”. Harold J Laski stated in the same vein that the study of Politics
concerns itself with the life of men and women in relation to organized state. Thus as a
social science, Political Science deals with those aspects of individuals in society which
relate to their activities and organizations devoted to seeking of power, resolution of conflicts
and all these, within an overall framework of the rule and law as laid down by the state.
1
MEANING AND SCOPE OF
POLITICAL SCIENCE
Y
MODULE - 1
Notes
2
Meaning and Scope of Political Science
Individual and the State
1.1.1 Changing Meaning of Political Science
The term Politics is derived from the Greek word polis which means city-state. That is
why many commentators, as you saw, rightly define Politics in terms of the state or
government. However, this definition does not exhaust the meaning of Politics. Politics
also deals with power. Harold D. Lasswell and Abraham Kaplan define Political Science
as “the study of shaping and sharing of power”. In a word, Politics deals with both state
and power. However, the power that Political Science deals with is, more often than not,
the legitimate power. Since science is the systematic study of any phenomenon through
observation and experiment, it follows that Political Science studies the state and power in
all their aspects. You will learn more about the state and power later in this lesson.
Political Science deals with both empirical facts and normative issues. Facts are in the
domain of “what is” and value preferences are in the domain of “what should be.” For
example, if somebody says India is a parliamentary democracy, he or she is making a
statement of empirical fact. This is what India today actually is. But if she or he were to
make a statement like the one that India should switch over to presidential form of
democracy, the statement would be a normative one. Political Science is not satisfied with
describing the state of affairs, it wants to change or improve upon them. Empirical statements
are true or false by virtue of what observation shows to be the case. Evaluative statements
are ethical/moral imperatives, which are often said not to be true or false in any sense at
all. Formal statements (such as the propositions of mathematics) are true or false by virtue
of the meanings of their constituent terms alone. Political Philosophy deals with formal
statements. Political Science deals with empirical statements and also evaluates the existing
political institutions, practices and focuses on how to improve them.
Intext Questions 1.1
Fill in the blanks :
(a) Political Science deals with both .................... and ..................... issues (empirical,
normative, formal).
(b) Political Science studies ....................and .................... (society, state, nation, power,
class).
(c) The term Politics is derived from the word.................... (polis, police, state).
(d) ........................ said Politics begins and ends with the state (Gettel, Garner, Lasswell).
(e) ....................... defined Political Science as the study of shaping and sharing of
power. (Kaplan, Easton, Garner).
1.1.2 Growth of the Discipline of Political Science
Systematic study of Politics started with the Greeks in the fourth century BC. Philosophers
like Plato and Aristotle used it in the most comprehensive sense. Aristotle called Politics a
“master science”. For him, it comprised of not only the institutions of state or government
but also family, property and other social institutions. Politics, for the Greeks, was an all-
encompassing activity.
The ancient Greek view about Political Science was mainly ethical. In contrast, the ancient
MODULE - 1
Notes
3
Meaning and Scope of Political Science
Individual and the State Romans considered the legal aspect of Politics more important for their governance.
During the Middle Ages, Political Science became a branch of religious order of the Church.
Political authority was, then, subordinated to the authority of the Church.
Normally a lay man associates Politics with party politics. But as students of
Political Science, we know that Politics is much larger than that: it is
systematic study of state and power.
As the state grew in size and became more complex, Political Science acquired a realistic
and secular (non-religious) approach. After the Industrial Revolution, the role of the State,
which was limited to maintenance of law and order and providing defence against external
aggression, underwent considerable changes with the emergence of the new economic
system called capitalism.
In the twentieth century, after the Second World War, the ‘behavioural approach’ offered
a new dimension of Political Science. The behavioural movement in American Political
Science in the 1950s and the 1960s placed a lot of emphasis on the ‘science’ part of
Politics. It wanted to model Politics after the methods followed by natural sciences like
Physics, Botany, etc. The behaviouralists built theory inductively from empirical propositions.
Those who follow inductive method would come to the conclusion after study, observation
and experiment. For example, when some behaviouralists saw African-Americans (Blacks)
of the southern United States of America (USA) voted for the Democratic Party of the
United States, they came to the conclusion that the African-Americans do vote for the
Democrats.
This behavioural approach shifted the focus of its study from political institutions and
structures to their functions. It placed stress on political activity and the behaviour of men
and women who control these institutions. It replaced the study of ideas by the study of
facts, evidence and behaviour. It considered political activity manifested in behaviour as
the true subject of Political Science.
A political activity may be in the form of an individual contesting an election. It may be the
activity of a group seeking the adoption of a particular policy in its favour by the government.
As different people pursue different interests, such activities tend to generate disagreement,
competition and conflict. But the distinctive quality of Politics is that it includes physical
coercion or force by the government. It may and usually does involve the persuasive
influence and effort of the government to resolve conflicts through its balanced policy
decisions.
Politics is also viewed as a process whereby individuals, groups or communities seek to
achieve their specific but conflicting goals. Politics, as the process, seeks to allocate
resources (Easton calls it, values) authoritatively.
Politics, as the study of structures, institutions, processes and activities, recognizes the
possibility of the use of power. The Marxist approach, which is derived from the writings
of the nineteenth century German philosopher Karl Marx, views Politics as a study of
irreconcilable conflicts between the two classes ‘haves’ (those who have private property,
or simply the rich) and the ‘have-nots’ (those who do not have any private property, or
simply the poor); in other words, the exploiters and the exploited. The emancipation of the
have-nots will come only through a revolution which would put an end to the institution of
private property, thus changing the class society to the classless society. But Politics, as
against the Marxist view, has another view also, the liberal view, according to which
MODULE - 1
Notes
4
Meaning and Scope of Political Science
Individual and the State
Politics is considered as an as effort for conciliation and accommodation to bring about
rule of order and Justice. Incidentally, the Marxist view of politics comes as a reaction to
the liberal view of politics.
1.2 Distinction between Political Science and Politics
The terms ‘Political Science’ and ‘Politics’ are often used interchangeably. However, the
distinction between the two needs to be understood. Some scholars define Politics to be
“the science and art of government.” But this is only a part of the total explanation of the
subject of Political Science. Now-a-days the term Politics is used to mean the problems
of the citizens interacting with the instrument of political power in one form or the other.
Sometimes, Politics was and still is used as the technique of compromise or the method to
capture power and retain it.
According to many political scientists, the study of Political Science comprises theory of
the state, concept of sovereign power, forms and functions of government, making and
execution of laws, elections, political parities, rights and duties of citizens, policy functions
and study of welfare activities of the State and government.
There is another aspect of Politics that needs to be emphasised. Politics, many a time,
implies practical politics. Practising politics is different from studying it. Practical politics
includes actual formation of government, the working of government, administration, laws
and legislation. It also includes international politics including matters such as peace and
war, international trade and economic order, protection of rights, etc. All these also comprise
the subject matter of the study of Politics.
While the knowledge of Political Science as a discipline is acquired through study, the skill
of practical politics is acquired through politicking or manipulations and craftiness or by
exploiting caste and regional loyalties and religious sentiments. Practical politics is often
described as the ‘dirty game’ and a ‘corrupting’ process in the common people’s mind.
But we find that there are hardly any human groupings or societies, which are free from
‘politics’ and hardly any individual who does not know the implications of the “game of
politics”.
Practical Politics also has many positive aspects. In this era of welfare state many positive
programmes such as removal of untouchability, land reforms, release of bonded labourers,
prohibition of trafficking in human beings and begar (forced labour), introduction of
minimum wages, employment generation programmes, empowerment of the other backward
classes are all examples of positive aspects of practical politics.
‘Politics’ refers to the process of actual happenings in society and in institutions, which
Political Science refers to its understand in a systematic manner.
Intext Questions 1.2
Fill in the blanks :
(a) .................... called Political Science a ‘master science’ (Plato, Aristotle, Laski).
(b) Behaviouralism stressed on the .................... part of Political Science (science,
philosophy, political)
MODULE - 1
Notes
5
Meaning and Scope of Political Science
Individual and the State
(c) The .................... view Politics as a conflict between two classes of the haves and
the have-nots (Greeks, Romans, Marxists).
(d) Skill of practical politics is acquired through .................... (honesty, morality,
craftiness).
1.3 Scope Of Political Science
Here we shall learn about the scope of Political Science in terms of role of the State,
functions of government and its relationship with citizens.
1.3.1 Role of the State
The term ‘State’ in its modern sense was first used by Machiavelli (1469-1527), the Italian
statesman. The study of the State has since remained the focal point for the political
scientists.
The State consists of four elements. These are: (a) the people; (b) the territory on which
they live; (c) the government to rule and regulate the lives of the people and (d) sovereignty,
which implies unrestricted authority to take decisions and manage its own affairs. You
will read in detail about these four elements in the second lesson.
The role and nature of the State have been interpreted differently. Modern western liberal
thinking, about which you will study more in the fourth lesson, arose with the commerial
(Mercantile) Revolution in Western Europe in the sixteenth century and became prominent
with the Industrial Revolution in the eighteenth century. These Revolutions brought into
focus a new economic system called capitalism.
Market is a place where goods and services are sold and bought. It operates
on the basis of demand and supply. Many people regard it as a self-regulating,
self-correcting place, provided there is no interference by the state.
Competition is the chief hallmark of market. Capitalism and market are
considered two sides of the same coin.
The social group consisting of traders, merchants and businessmen and later the industrialists
(also known as the bourgeois) was the major beneficiary of this system. The liberals
emphasized that the consent of the people is the true basis of the state. Early liberal
thinkers also considered the state as a ‘necessary evil’- an evil but necessary for the
purpose of protecting the individual from the external and internal enemies. According to
this view, that government is the best which governs the least. In other words, the state
should be a ‘police state’ and hence a limited one. It should also be limited in a different
sense: as John Locke, the famous English liberal philosopher of the seventeenth century,
said it is there to protect the individual’s natural right to life, liberty and property.
Rights are claims by an individual on the state. Natural rights are those
rights with which an individual is supposed to have been born. These are, so
to say, God-given rights. More importantly, individual is supposed to have
acquired them even before the state came into existence. The important
implication is that since the state has no role in the creation or granting of
these rights, it cannot take away or abridge these rights.
By contrast, the Marxist view, about which you will study more in the fourth lesson, does
MODULE - 1
Notes
6
Meaning and Scope of Political Science
Individual and the State
not consider the State as an impartial institution. It asserts that, throughout the centuries,
the state has been a tool in the hands of the “haves” for exploiting and dominating the
“have-nots.” In the future classless society like the communist society, the state would
“wither away,”. In Gandhian view, the State would justify its existence, by acting as a
“trustee” of the people. It should help the poorest and the weakest one. It should restore
to him or her, a control over his or her own life and destiny.
The Welfare State, which slowly emerged during the 1930s, tries to promote the well
being of its citizens, especially the poor, the needy, the unemployed and the aged. It is now
generally agreed that the Welfare State exists to promote common good. So the functions
of the state have increased manifold.
The state to act as ‘trustee’ of the people means that it should hold people’s
power as a trust for welfare of the people. It should not consider people as
helpless subjects, but as co-rulers in its governance.
Power refers to the ability of one person affecting the attitudes or action of another. I have
power over you if I can make you do what you would not have done otherwise. But power
is not always exercised openly. It can be exercised in unseen way, as in controlling the
agenda. However, power can be best exercised when I can convince you about what is
good/bad for you. To that extent, my power over you would be complete. And this
dominance would always go unchallenged.
By power of the government, we think of the different aspects of government. We think
of ministers who have departments under them for the exercise of power over the area of
their domains. There is the bureaucracy and the enormous structure of governmental
administration, which has power over us. It can control our lives in various ways by making,
administering and implementing laws.
Here, one thing is to be noted. Power does not lie only in the highly publicized areas of
social life, like government, administration, elections, etc. It also exists in small institutions
like family etc.Many feminists are of the opinion that inside the private world of family
man exercises power or dominance over woman. Hence, it is very aptly said, “even the
personal is political.”
Another thing to be noticed is that there is a distinction between legitimate and illegitimate
power. There can be power, which is considered right or proper, while another may be
improper. A dacoit’s power over me is very real, because if I do not comply with his
wishes, I might lose my life or limb. But it is not proper power as is generally understood.
Contrary to it the power that the government’s representatives, policemen or judges exercise
over me is proper power. The dacoit’s power is illegitimate power while the government’s
is legitimate. And the power of constitutional authorities over me is called authority. Authority
contains the two ideas of power and legitimacy. Authority is that form of power which is
legitimate. It is power plus ligitimacy.
1.3.2 Citizens and Government
The government is the most important instrument of the State through which the latter
realizes its objectives. Through its three organs i.e; the Legislature, the Executive and the
MODULE - 1
Notes
7
Meaning and Scope of Political Science
Individual and the State
Judiciary, it makes laws and rules, implements them, maintains peace and order in the
country and resolves clashes of interests. It also tries to ensure territorial integrity or unity
of the country.
Modern democratic governments perform many other functions for the development and
welfare of citizens and the society, as a whole. This is especially so in a developing country
like ours.
The relationship between citizens and the government is reciprocal. The citizens are
members of the State. The state recognizes certain rights of the citizens and in turn expects
certain duties from them.
So far as the rights of the citizens are concerned, they can be divided into three: civil,
political and social. CIVIL RIGHTS are those rights which are necessary for the freedom/
liberty of the individual. They include the right to life and personal liberty, right to freedom
of speech, expression and thought, right to own property, right to enter into contract, right
to equality before law and equal protection by law. Equality before law means absence of
special privileges; equal protection of laws implies equals should be treated equally.
POLITICAL RIGHTS include the right to vote and the right to contest election. SOCIAL
RIGHTS include the right to some degrees of economic welfare and security and the right
to live the life of a civilized being according to standards prevailing in the society.
It is the primary duty of the citizens to pay taxes to the government. They should co-
operate with the government and abide by the laws and rules; should help in preventing
diseases by immunization and by keeping neighborhood clean. They should have small
families to help the government check the population growth. They should preserve public
property, help in catching and punishing anti-social and anti-national elements. Further, the
citizens of different castes, religions, languages and regions should solve their problems by
understanding and agreement and not by violent means. In this way, a lot of resources,
energy and time of the government can be saved for constructive purposes.
1.3.3 Liberty
The term liberty is derived form the Latin word liber meaning free. Thus liberty means
freedom. Freedom is of paramount importance for the development of an individual’s
personality. Historically speaking, the term liberty was initially defined as absence of all
restraints on an individual. This is known as the negative concept of liberty. Early liberalism
championed negative liberty. John Stuart Mill, the nineteenth century English political
philosopher, described, “Restraint as an evil”. Mill was especially worried about the
restraints coming from the state and society.
However, since individuals live together in a society, complete absence of restraints would
be neither possible nor desirable. Further, differentiating between the self-regarding and
other-regarding action is not always possible. It has been very aptly said that your liberty
to swing your arm ends there where my nose begins. For liberty to be enjoyed by everyone,
it should have reasonable restraints. This is the concept of positive liberty. This concept
further means freedom to be a master of one’s own self. Harold J Laski supported this
concept. Freedoms are opportunities which history has shown to be essential to the
development of personality. The freedom of many requires restraint of law on the freedom
of some. Later liberals supported the positive liberty.
MODULE - 1
Notes
8
Meaning and Scope of Political Science
Individual and the State
1.3.3.1 Safeguards of Liberty
Declaration of rights of the individuals in the Constitution is considered as an important
safeguard of liberty. This way the government can be prevented from encroaching upon
the freedoms of the people.
Impartial judiciary is rightly called the watchdog of liberty. Without it the liberty of the
individuals would be meaningless.
Decentralization of powers is another important safeguard of liberty. History is witness to
the fact that concentration of power has very often led to despotism.
Separation of powers, i.e. the executive, the legislature and the judiciary being separate, is
a great ally of liberty. Montesquieu said, “Power should be a check on power.”
Rule of law or equality in the eyes of the law is also an important safeguard of liberty. This
is the bulwark against discrimination based on caste, class, colour, creed, etc.
A large measure of social justice or diffusion of social and economic privileges is a
prerequisite for liberty. If privileges become the prerogative of the select few, then effective
liberty would be denied to a vast majority.
A well-knit party system is also indispensable for the preservation of liberty.
All these institutional safeguards are inadequate to preserve liberty if the citizens themselves
do not possess the proud spirit to preserve it. People should always be on their toes to
ensure that their liberty is not encroached upon. Eternal vigilance, it has been rightly said,
is the price of liberty.
Intext Questions 1.3
Fill in the blanks :
(a) The term ‘State’ was first used by .................... (Plato, Machiavelli, Kautilya).
(b) The term Liberty is derived from the ........................ word liber (Greek, Roman,
Latin).
(c) ........................ liberalism advocated negative liberty (Early, Modern, Libertarian).
(d) Your liberty to swing your ........................ ends there where my nose begins (nose,
arm, head).
(e) The freedom of many may require restraints of law on the freedom of ........................
(all, some, none).
(f) Eternal ................... is the price of liberty (vigilance, liberty, freedom).
1.4 Justice and its Relevance for Citizens and State
The term Justice is derived from the Latin word jus, which means a bond. Thus the word
Justice means joining or fitting. “Justice”, says E Barker, “is the reconciler and the synthesis
of political values.”
MODULE - 1
Notes
9
Meaning and Scope of Political Science
Individual and the State The best general definition of Justice is to “render to everyone his/her due.”
1.4.1 Aspects of Justice
When we turn to the broader question of Justice, it has other constitutions, we find a
number of views. Herein comes the concept of distributive Justice – what is the proper
way of distribution of income or social position in a given society. There are two
major conceptions of distributive/social Justice, one involves the notion of merit and the
other involves need and equality.
1.4.2 Merit
The first conception argues that each person’s social position and (material) wealth must
be decided on the basis of merit. When people talk of careers open to talents and equality
of opportunity, they have merit in view. However, the question arises as to how to measure
merit or talent? The liberals say that the price that someone can command in a free
market is the reasonable indicator of his/her value to others. The socialist critics are of the
opinion that market receipts are often affected by chance and social background which
have nothing to do with merit.
1.4.3 Need and Equality
The second conception views that goods, positions, etc. should be allocated on the basis of
a person’s needs. But how to define needs? Everybody agrees on food, shelter and
clothing. Beyond this, there is no agreement. Communism (Marxism) believes that each
person should define his needs and sufficient resources can be created under communism
to meet all the needs of all individuals. However, others are of the opinion that needs can
be satisfied by two agencies – welfare state and the market. Some needs can be satisfied
through the welfare state and others being allocated through the market.
1.4.4 Equality of Opportunity
Equality does not mean identity of rewards or identity of treatment, i.e. same reward or
treatment for everybody, regardless of efforts and circumstances. For example, there
would be no equality if all the students were awarded sixty marks regardless of the quality
of answer. Ideally, those who write better should get higher marks. And this is compatible
with equality. Likewise, in a society some people have more income and some have less.
However, this state of affairs does not violate equality provided two conditions are met:
(a) absence of privileges and (b) equality of opportunity
(a) Absence of privileges strengthens equality; the existence of privileges would,
conversely, promote inequality. This means that no one be given facilities/opportunities
more than those given to others. Privileges create a situation of inequality, and in the
process, harms equality.
(b) Equality of opportunity means everybody should have the same chance to access
public position and office. An example of the working of the equality of opportunity
in India is the Civil Services examination conducted by the Union Public Services
Commission (UPSC). Any Indian graduate from any university of India can take the
examination.
Allied to the concept of equality of opportunity is equality of (starting) conditions.
MODULE - 1
Notes
10
Meaning and Scope of Political Science
Individual and the State
Everybody should get a chance to be at the initial starting line; then the race of life could
begin. Some would come first, some, second and others would fail. But this would not be
a violation of equality. Many people are convinced that equality of conditions can only be
achieved when the historically disadvantaged groups (like the Dalits/the Scheduled Castes)
are compensated through reservation of jobs or (as is known in the United States of
America) affirmative action.
Equality is closely connected to equity, i.e., even-handed treatment. Equity demands like
cases to be treated alike. Relevantly similar cases are to be treated in similar ways.
1.4.5 Overall Results (Communitarian Justice)
There is the other kind of theory of Justice that does not take either merit or need into
account. It takes into account the overall results. John Rawls’ theory belongs to this category.
In his book A Theory of Justice he argues that inequalities in the allocation of goods are
permissible if and only if those inequalities work to the benefit of the least well-off
members of society. In other words, a society having income inequality is just if and only
if that inequality benefitted the least advantaged members of that society. For example, a
professor’s higher salary can be just if and only if it, directly or indirectly, benefits, so to
say, the bricklayer.
On the other hand, scholars like Nozick argue in favour of traditional meaning of Justice:
as respect for law and entitlements. Entitlements mean established/ conventional rights.
According to this theory, individuals have natural rights, especially the right to property.
These entitlements accrue to the individuals because they are human beings. Nozick says
nobody, not even the state, can override these entitlements. Putting simply, Nozick is arguing
against excessive taxation imposed by the (welfare) state. He thinks that taxation interferes
with rights of the individual to dispose of the income as she or he thinks fit. Taxation is an
instance of curtailment of liberty of the individual.
Justice is a dynamic concept. It has been undergoing changes from the ancient times till
today. So no final word can be said about Justice. Justice is concept which keeps evolving.
1.4.6. Justice and its Relationship with Liberty and Equality
The nineteenth century scholars like Lord Acton and Alexis de Tocqueville considered
liberty and equality as incompatible. They thought that too much of stress on equality
would lead to the dilution of liberty. Many later scholars also agreed with them. Progressive
taxation by the welfare state was considered violative of the liberty of the propertied
people. However, it remained a fact that proceeds of tax went towards financing the
programmes to ameliorate the plight of the poor, the unemployed, the needy, the handicapped
and the aged. A largely egalitarian society was made possible by these programmes. In
times of conflict like this, prevailing notion of Justice decides what should be the right mix
of liberty and equality. Thus freedom and equality are two aspects of Justice. The ultimate
objective of both freedom and equality is Justice.
Intext Questions 1.4
Fill in the blanks :
(a) According to........................ Justice is the reconciler of political values (Plato,
Aristotle, Barker).
MODULE - 1
Notes
11
Meaning and Scope of Political Science
Individual and the State (b) Equality does not mean ........................ (identity of treatment, equality of opportunity).
(c) Justice for Nozick meant respect for........................ (entitlements, duties, need).
(d) According to Rawls, inequality is permissible if and only if it benefits the
........................ (the richest, middle class, least well-off).
(e) Equality means ........................ (absence of special privileges, identity of rewards,
freedom).
What You Have Learnt
1. The ancient Greeks thought of Political Science as Political Philosophy. They laid
stress on the ethical aspects of Politics. During the Middle Ages, Political Science
became a branch of the Church, subordinating political authority to the authority of
the Church.
2. In modern times, Political Science acquired a realistic and secular approach. As a
result of the emergence of capitalism following the Industrial Revolution, the role of
the State underwent considerable changes.
3. The subject of Political Science became a specialized science of the state. It studied
about different forms of government and its organs like Legislature, Executive and
Judiciary.
4. Laski stated that the study of Political Science concerned itself with the life of men
or women in relation to organized states.
5. In the twentieth century, the behavioural approach shifted the focus of study from
political institutions to their functions and to the study of political activities and behaviour
of men and women.
6. The scope of Political Science includes the study of the role of the State, functions of
Government and its relationship with citizens.
7. Political Science is distinct from Politics. While the former deals with the study of
Politics, the latter refers to the problems of man and woman which interact with
political power and conflict with each other.
8. Power is the ability to control others. It is the capacity to get things done as one
would like others to do. Power in combination with legitimacy is called authority.
9. Generally, freedom is defined as absence of restraints in the behavior of a person.
But positive freedom means self-realization and that individual should be free to act
only to the extent that others’ freedom is not curtailed. Law protects freedom.
Generally it is considered that there is Justice in society if it rewards people on the
basis of merit without being oblivious of the needs of the worst-off. Further, freedom
and equality are considered important pillars of Justice.
Terminal Exercises
1. Explain the meaning of Political Science.
MODULE - 1
Notes
12
Meaning and Scope of Political Science
Individual and the State
2. Write a note on the growth of the Discipline of Political Science.
3. Describe the scope of Political Science in terms of role of the State and functions of
government.
4. Distinguish between Political Science and Politics.
5. Write a note on the rights and the duties of an individual.
6. Define Liberty in their negative and positive dimensions.
7. What do you mean by Equality of Opportunity ?
8. Explain the term Justice and bring out the different conceptions of it.
Answers to Intext Questions
1.1
(a) empirical, normative
(b) State, power
(c) polis
(d) Garner
(e) Kaplan
1.2
(a) Aristotle
(b) science
(c) Marxists
(e) craftiness
1.3
(a) Machiavelli
(b) Latin
(c) Early
(d) arm
(e) some
(f) vigilance
1.4
(a) Barker
(b) identity of treatment
MODULE - 1
Notes
13
Meaning and Scope of Political Science
Individual and the State (c) entitlements
(d) least well-off
(e) absence of special privileges
Hints of Terminal Exercises
1. Refer to Section 1.1 and 1.1.1.
2. Refer to Section 1.1.2
3. Refer to Section 1.3.1
4. Refer to Section 1.2
5. Refer to Section 1.3.2
6. Refer to Section 1.3.3
7. Refer to Section 1.4.4
8. Refer to Section 1.4
MODULE - 1
Notes
14
Political Science
Individual and the State
he evolution of modern nation state as a political organization took a long period of time.
In ancient times human beings lived in communities. The obvious fact is that human beings
are social animals and they cannot live in isolation. They belong to society. The collective
life that they need assumes certain rules and regulations and gradually such a group life
has led to the formation of political communities and the emergence of State. In its earlier
form, the State was very simple in its organisation. From that simple organisation it has
evolved and grown into the modern complex organization. Over the years it has acquired
different forms and has become a reality found everywhere. In this lesson you will read
about the concepts of nation, nationality and state. You will also learn about the elements
of State.
Objectives
After studying this lesson, you will be able to
explain the concept of nation and nationality;
make a distinction between nation and nationality;
describe the elements of nationality;
identify the State as a political entity with sovereign power;
explain elements of the State.
2.1 Nation And Nationality
The term nationality is derived from the Latin word natus, which means ‘to be born’.
Therefore in its derivative term, nationality means belonging to the same racial stock or
being related by birth or having blood relationship. This understanding of nationality is
however misleading. There is today not a single nation in the world whose people belong
to the same racial stock. Every nation has people of mixed racial background. It is very
difficult to find racial purity because of increased racial combinations due to immigrations,
inter-caste and inter-racial marriages. The development of nationality is definitely more of
2
NATION AND STATE
T
MODULE - 1
Notes
15
Nation and State
Individual and the State
a psychological phenomenon neither political nor racial. In the words of J.W. Garner,
nationality is a culturally homogeneous group that is at once conscious of its unity.
According to Ramsay Muir, a nation may be defined as a body of people who feel themselves
to be naturally linked together by certain affinities, which are so strong for them to live
together, they are dissatisfied when disunited and cannot tolerate subjection to people who
do not share the same ties. The development of nationality is definitely psychological
phenomenon or as Hayes says, it is primarily cultural, conscious of unity.
2.2 Distinction between Nation and Nationality
The distinction between the nation and nationality is a thin one. This is more so because
both the terms are derived from the same word. Some even consider them as
interchangeable. But certainly there are differences between the two, which can be summed
up as follows:
1. Nationality is a cultural term. It is a psychological, which is generated in a group of
people having geographical unity and who belong to a common race, common history,
religion, customs and traditions, economic interests and common hopes and aspirations.
The people of a nationality must have a sense of unity. They must feel that they have
something in common which differentiates them from other people. But nation is a
people organised; a people united. What unites people in a nation are feelings of
oneness. Nation gives an idea of an organisation; nationality gives an idea of sentiment.
2. Nationality is basically a cultural term; it is ‘political’ only incidentally as Hayes tells
us. Nation is basically a political term, cultural only incidentally. This, however, does
not mean that nationality is not political and nation is not cultural/concepts.
3. The evolution of the state has shown that there may be states with more than one
nationalities and there may be nationalities spread over more than one states. The
former USSR, as a state, had a considerable number of nationalities; the Korean
nationality, to take another example, is spread over two states. Thus a state may or
may not co-exit with nationality.
4. Nation and nationality are distinct terms in yet another sense. Some use the term
‘nationality’ to signify the principle or characteristic that creates a nation. This means
that nationality preceds nation. In terms of origin, therefore, they are not at par. The
Jewish nationality created the Jewish nation.
5. If we use the term ‘nation’ to mean a population of the same race, language and
tradition, inhabiting the same territory and constituting the larger part of its population,
we may, and in fact, have the Britishers as the nation. If on the other hand, we use
the term ‘nationality’ to mean one of the several distinct ethnic groups scattered over
an area and forming but a comparatively a smaller part of its population, we may, and
in fact, have the Welsh nationality; the latter as a nationality becomes a part of the
British nation.
Intext Question 2.1
Fill in the blanks:
1. In its derivative term nationality means belonging to the _____ racial stock
MODULE - 1
Notes
16
Political Science
Individual and the State 2. It is very difficult to find _____________ __________because of increased fusion
of blood due to immigrations, inter-caste and inter-racial marriages.
3. The development of nationality is definitely a __________and __________
phenomenon.
4. Nationality is derived from the Latin word________.
2.3 Elements of Nationality
It is very difficult to define nationality in terms of its elements. It is a psychological
concept or a subjective idea and therefore it is impossible to find out any common quality
or definite interest, which is everywhere associated with nationality. We cannot say with
certainty that this particular element makes for a separate nationality. We can at best list
out some factors, which are as follows:
2.3.1 Common Geography
People living in a common territory constitute one of the major elements of nationality.
This is because such a people are likely to develop a common culture. This is also the
reason why the countries are called as motherland or fatherland. We also see an identity
of people with their country. Thus people of Denmark are called the Danes, France as
the French, India as the Indians, America as the Americans and so on. But this point
should not be stretched too far. Common territory is not an absolutely essential element of
nationality. The Jews were scattered all over the world before the creation of Israel. They
had no common territory, yet they constituted a strong nationality. Similarly, the Poles
were denied their homeland for a long time before 1919 but they were a nationality.
2.3.2 Common Race
Common race denotes the idea that a people belonging to a particular nationality belong to
one group or they have a social unity. Some people suggest that purity of race makes a
nationality. This is scientifically wrong. As pointed above, today due to immigrations and
intercaste marriages, purity of race has become almost an impossibility. Today this
phenomenon has become a myth. But certainly the belief that one belongs to the same
race, real or fictitious, has contributed to the idea of nationality. The idea of a common
race is also important because it strengthens common language, common traditions and
common culture.
2.3.3 Common language
A common language is a medium of communication, which enables the people to express
their ideas. It is the basis of all the other elements of nationality. A common language not
only means a common literature but also a common heritage of historical traditions.
Common historical experiences and common traditions as reflected in the literature bind
together members of a nationality by certain bonds. A common language creates a cohesive
society. Most of the European nations developed out of a common language as England
from the English language, France from the French language or Spain from the Spanish
language. But this factor is not a necessary one. Today we find many bi-lingual or multi-
lingual nationalities. Further, the English language is a global language which is spoken in
all parts of the world and it cannot be associated only with England.
MODULE - 1
Notes
17
Nation and State
Individual and the State
2.3.4 Common religion
Religion is also an important element of nationality. A common religion is a strong incentive
to national feeling. England fought against the Spanish Armada largely due to her
determination to defend Protestantism. However this factor is also not a necessary one.
In fact in modern times, nationalities tend to become multi-religious and under such
circumstances religion is regarded as a private affair of individual and secularism prevails
in the collective life. Further religion cannot always be a cementing factor. The two wings
of Pakistan fell apart and Bangladesh was created despite the common religious affinity.
Religion, rather, works negatively as a divisive factor in the Indian Sub-Continent, when
Pakistan came into existence due to the partition of India.
2.3.5 Common political framework
The existence of a common political framework or a State, whether in the past or present,
is another element of nationality. People living in a State are knit together through the
laws. Living under one common state creates a sense of unity. Various crises like wars
further develop the feelings of patriotism. In fact the government also encourages this
idea through various methods. As Gilchrist aptly observes that “a nationality lives either
because it has been a nation, with its own territory and State or, because it wishes to
become a nation with its own territory and State.”
2.3.6 Economic factor
The economic activities bring people closer. It has been argued that historically, nationality
emerged as a result of fusion of various tribes and clans. One cannot think of nationality in
a primitive society. The Marxists also believe that nationality emerged due to economic
factors. According to them nationality had no place in a slave owning or a feudal society
and it emerged due to the emergence of capitalist mode of production. Undoubtedly economic
factor is an important element of nationality. It is also an important factor in the maintenance
of nationality. But on its own single-handedly, it cannot create a nationality.
2.3.7 Common subjugation
Common subjugation has been a dominant factor in the rise of national movements in the
Afro-Asian countries. They were invaded by the various European imperialist powers.
The feelings of nationality arose due to common subjugation as it created a feeling of
oneness among the people. In India, a common Indian nationality arose due to the common
colonial exploitation.
2.3.8 Common political aspirations
The will to be a nation is regarded by some as the principal factor of nationality. Before the
First World War, the Poles always wanted Poland. Similarly there were many minorities
living in Europe, which desired a separate nationhood. In 1919 at the Paris Peace
Conference, this was accepted in the principle of self-determination.
While all the factors mentioned above help in the growth of nationality, none of them is
absolutely essential. In fact nationality is a subjective sentiment which cannot be defined
in terms of any objective factor. The presence or absence of any one or more of these
factors does not imply the presence or absence of the spirit of nationality.
MODULE - 1
Notes
18
Political Science
Individual and the State
Intext Questions 2.2
Fill in the blanks:
1. People living in a common territory are likely to develop a common ____________.
2. Purity of race is __________ a wrong idea.
3. Most of the European nations developed out of a common __________.
4. The common order fosters the sense of ____________.
5. Historically, nationality emerged as a result of _________the various tribes and
clans.
6. In India, a common Indian nationality arose due to the common _______ ________.
2.4 The State
The term ‘State’ is central to the study of Political Science. But it is wrongly used as
synonym for nation, society, government etc. The term ‘state’ is also used as State
management, State aid and so on. Also as the States of Indian union or the fifty States that
make the United States of America. But in Political Science, we use this term differently;
it has a more specific meaning.
Some of the definitions of the concept of State are as follows:
“The State is the politically organized people of a definite territory”
-Bluntschli
State is “a community of persons, more or less numerous, permanently occupying a definite
portion of territory, independent, or nearly so, of external control, and possessing an organized
government to which the great body of inhabitants render habitual obedience.”
–Garner
State is “a territorial society divided into governments and subjects, whether individuals or
associations of individuals, whose relationships are determined by the exercise of this
supreme coercive power.”
–Laski
State “is a people organized for law within a definite territory”.
–Woodrow Wilson
“The State is a concept of political science, and a moral reality which exists where a
number of people, living on a definite territory, are unified under a government which in
internal matters is the organ of expressing their sovereignty, and in external matters is
independent of other governments.”
–Gilchrist
Human beings are social animals and cannot live alone. When people live together, they
fulfill their socials needs. But everybody is not good and kind. There are all sorts of men
and women, who exhibit various emotions such as pride, jealousy, greed, selfishness and
so on. According to Burke, “Society requires not only the passions of individuals should be
MODULE - 1
Notes
19
Nation and State
Individual and the State subjected, but that even in the mass and body as in the individuals the inclination of men
should be thwarted, their will controlled and their passions brought into subjection.” The
best is to control human perversity through means of political authority. Therefore people
are bound by rules of common behaviour. If these are broken then they can be punished.
Society fulfills people’s need for companionship; the state solves the problem created by
this companionship.
The state exists for the sake of good life. It is an essential and natural institution and as
Aristotle said, “The State comes into existence originating in the bare needs of life and
continues its existence for the sake of good life.”
It is only within a state that an individual can rise to his or her ability. If there is no authority,
no organisation and no rules, then society cannot be held together. The state has existed
where human beings have lived in an organized society. The structure of the state has
evolved gradually over a long period of time, from a simple to a complex organisation that
we have today.
The essence of state is in its monopoly of coercive power. It has a right to demand obedience
from the people.
However, the Marxists believe that state is a class organisation, which has been created
by the propertied class to oppress and exploit the poor. They refuse to believe that the
state is a natural institution. To them the propertied class created the state and it has
always belonged to them only. Thus, the state is just a means of exploitation. Therefore,
they visualize a situation of classless society or communism in which there will not be any
need of the state. State will, thus, wither away.
Intext Questions 2.3
Fill in the blanks:
1. The State exists for the sake of ____________life.
2. The essence of State is in its monopoly of__________ __________.
3. The State has a right to demand ______________from the people.
4. According to the Marxists, State is a __________ ____________.
5. In a classless society, there is no__________.
2.5 Elements of The State
As pointed above, the state possesses four essential elements. These are:
2.5.1 Population
The State is a human institution. It is the people who make a State. Antarctica is not a
State as is it is without any human population. The population must be able to sustain a
state. But the question is; how much should be the population?
Plato’s and Aristotle’s ideals were the Greek City – States of Athens and Sparta. Plato
fixed the number of people in an ideal state at 5040. Aristotle laid down a general principle
MODULE - 1
Notes
20
Political Science
Individual and the State
that the state should neither be large nor small; it should be large enough to be self-
sufficing and small enough to be well-governed. Rousseau put the number at 10,000.But it
is difficult to fix the size of the people of a state. In modern times we have India and China
which have huge population and countries like San Marino with a very small population.
Countries like former Soviet Union gave incentives to mother of large families. In India,
over-population is a big problem while China has enforced a one-child norm. Dictators like
Mussolini had openly encouraged large population of the state.
So no limit-either theoretical or practical-can be put on population. But it must be enough
to constitute governing and governed classes, sufficient to support a political organization.
The population should be in proportion to the available land and resources. It should be
remembered that the differences in the size of population, other things remaining the same,
does not make any difference in the nature of State.
The quality of the population is also important. A state requires healthy, intelligent and
disciplined citizens. They should be possessed with qualities of vitality. The composition of
population is also very important. A state with a homogenous people can be governed
easily.
2.5.2 Territory
Just as every person belongs to a state, so does every square yard of earth. There is no
state without a fixed territory. Living together on a common land binds people together.
Love for the territory inculcates the spirit of patriotism. Some call their countries as
fatherland and some call it motherland. But there is a definite attachment with one’s
territory.
The territory has to be definite because it ensures exercise of political authority. Mobile
tribals had some sort of political authority but they did not constitute a State because they
lacked a fixed land. The Jews were living in different countries and they became State
only with the creation of Israel, which had a definite territory. Without a fixed territory it
would be difficult to conduct external relations. It is essential for the identification if one
state attempts to conquer the territory of another.
The territory may be small or large. But the state has to have a definite land. It may be as
small as San Marino, which has an area of 62 Square kilometers, or it may be as large as
India, USA, Russia or China. The size of a state influences the form of government. For
example, smaller states can have a unitary form of government but for the large states like
India and the USA, the federal system is relatively suitable.
The quality of land is also very important. If the land is rich in minerals and natural resources,
it will make the state economically powerful. It should be able to provide enough food for
its people. The States of West Asia were insignificant but they acquired prominence after
the discovery of oil. Large territory of a State gives it strategic and military advantage
during the times of war. Mostly the territory of a state is contiguous and compact though
there are exceptions also. Before the creation of Bangladesh, the two wings of Pakistan
were miles apart. Hawaii and Alaska are far away from the main territory of USA.
Land, water and airspace comprise the territory of the state. The sovereignty of a state is
exercised over its land, its rivers, mountains and plains and airspace above the land. The
sea up to a certain limit from the land border is also a part of the territory of a State.
MODULE - 1
Notes
21
Nation and State
Individual and the State
2.5.3 Government
The purpose for which people live together cannot be realized unless they are properly
organized and accept certain rules of conduct. The agency created to enforce rules of
conduct and ensure obedience is called government. Government is also the focus of the
common purpose of the people occupying the definite territory. It is through this medium
that common policies are determined, common affairs regulated and common interests
promoted. Without a government the people will lack cohesion and means of collective
action. There would be groups, parties and warring associations and conditions of wars
and chaos. So there is a need for common authority and order where people live. This is
the pre-requisite of human life. The state cannot and does not exist without a government,
no matter what form a government may assume. The government is a must, though it may
take any form. It may have a monarchy like Bhutan or republic as in India. It may have a
parliamentary form of government like India and Great Britain or a presidential form of
government as in the United States of America.
2.5.4 Sovereignty
A people inhabiting a definite portion of territory and having a government do not constitute
a state so long as they do not possess sovereignty. India before 15 August 1947 had all the
other elements of the state but it lacked sovereignty and therefore it was not a
State.Sovereignty is the supreme power by which the state commands and exerts political
obedience from its people. A state must be internally supreme and free from external
control. Thus sovereignty has two aspects, internal and external. Internal sovereignty is
the state’s monopoly of authority inside its boundaries. This authority cannot be shared
with any other state. The state is independent and its will is unaffected by the will of any
other external authority.
Therefore every state must have a population, a definite territory, a duly established
government and sovereignty. The absence of any of these elements deprives it the status
of statehood. So the term generally used for the 28 provinces of Indian Republic at times
creates confusion and as is the case of ‘50 States’ in the United States of America.
Intext Questions 2.4
Fill in the blanks:
1. The four elements of State are________, _________,________and __________.
2. Plato fixed the number of persons of the State at _____________ and Rousseau at
_____________.
3. Love for the country inculcates the spirit of_____________.
4. __________, ___________ and_______________ comprises the territory of
the State.
5. A unitary form of government is good for a small State and a _____ ______is ideal
for big States.
6. The agency created to enforce rules of conduct is called________.
7. Sovereignty has two aspects_________ and ____________.
MODULE - 1
Notes
22
Political Science
Individual and the State
What You Have Learnt
You have understood the meaning of nation, nationality and the state. You also know that
the terms nation and nationality are derivative of Latin word natus and in its derivative
term nationality means belonging to the same racial stock or being related by birth or
having blood relationship. You have understood the differences between nation and
nationality. You know now there are many elements of nationality but no single element or
a combination of elements is indispensable. The presence or absence of any one or more
of the elements does not imply the presence or absence of a spirit of nationality. You also
know that state is a political organisation. It establishes order in the society. But the Marxists
believe that state is a class organisation. You have also understood the four elements of
State-population, territory, government and sovereignty.
Terminal Exercises
Define the following terms:
1. (a) Nation (b) State (c) Government
2. Name the elements which help the formation of nationality and explain any two of
them?
3. What is the State? Briefly explain the elements of the State.
4. Are the following States? Give reasons for your answer in a single line.
(a) India (b) United Nations
(c) Bihar (d) United States of America
Answers To Intext Questions
2.1
1. Same
2. racial purity
3. psychological
4. Natus
2.2
1. Culture
2. Scientifically
3. language
4. unity
5. fusion
6. colonial exploitation
MODULE - 1
Notes
23
Nation and State
Individual and the State
2.3
1. good
2. coercive power
3. obedience
4. Class organisation
5. state
2.4
1. Territory, population, government and sovereignty.
2. 5040,10000
3. Patriotism
4. Land, water and airspace
5. federal system
6. government
7. internal, external
Hints of Terminal Exercises
1. (a) Refer to section 2.1
(b) Refer to section 2.4
(c) Refer to section 2.5.3
2. Refer to section 2.3
3 Refer to section 2.4
4. (a) Yes, because it has all the four elements of a State.
(b) No, because United Nations lacks two elements of a State-territory and
sovereignty
(c) No, because it does not have sovereignty.
(d) Yes, because it has all the elements of a State.
MODULE - 1
Notes
24
Political Science
Individual and the State
3
DISTINCTION BETWEEN
SOCIETY, NATION, STATE AND
GOVERNMENT
ou have studied about the concept of the state, its elements, and concepts such as
nation, nationality and the distinction between nation and nationality in the last lesson. You
have also known, in the previous chapters, the meaning of Political Science and Politics
and what makes the two distinct from each other. In this lesson you would know about
some other concepts, especially about ‘society’, ‘government,’ and ‘other associations’
and thereafter distinction between them.
Objectives
After studying this lesson, you will be able to
know the meaning of society, government and other associations;
distinguish between state and society;
distinguish between state and other associations;
distinguish between state and government;
distinguish between state and nation.
3.1 State and Society
You have known the meaning of the state in the last chapter. It is, as you know, a political
society with its four elements: population, fixed (definite) territory, government and
sovereignty. You also know that it acts through law and endowed to this end with coercive
power, maintains within a community the universal external conditions of social order.
Society, as a concept, is both an organization as well as a system of social relationships. It
is an organization, a social organization encompassing a web of social relationships.
Y
MODULE - 1
Notes
25
Distinction between Society, Nation, State and Government
Individual and the State
3.2 Distinction between State and Society
We must differentiate between state and society otherwise we will be justifying state
interference in all aspects of human life, thereby affecting human liberty. Considering the
two as interchangeable terms lead to the growth of deceptive social and political theories.
Maclver rightly warns: “To identity the social (i.e. the society) with the political (i.e. the
state) is to be guilty of the grossest of all confusions which completely bars any understanding
of either society or the state.” In fact, the ancient Greek philosophers (Socrates, Plato and
Aristotle) did not make distinction between the state and society. For them, polis was both
the city, i.e. the society and the state. The idealists such as Rousseau, a French political
philosopher of the 18th century, also regarded the two as one.
The distinction between the state and the society can be explained as under:
(a) Strictly speaking, the state is a political organization; it is society politically organized.
Society, on the other hand, is a social organization and has within it, all types of
associations (social, economic, religious, political, cultural and the like). Society is
both broader as well as narrower than the state. It is broader when it is used to
describe the whole community of mankind; it is narrower when it is used to describe
a small group of a village.
(b) In terms of origin, society is prior to the state. Society may be said to have been born
the day the human life must have begun. But the state did not begin with the society;
it must have started at a later stage of social development. Human beings are social
being first and then political beings.
(c) Being prior to the state, society is clearly a natural and therefore, an instinctive
institution. The state, on the other hand, is artificial, a created institution; its was
made when it was needed. That is one reason that we see the state as a formal and
legal organization with its body, its structure. The society, too, is a body, an organization;
it is not as formal an organization as the state is.
(d) The state exists for the society in the same way as a means exists for its end. The
state is, therefore, a means and the society is an end. It is always the means that
exists for the end; the end never exists for the means.
(e) The state is sovereign: no sovereignty means no state; the society is not sovereign; it
exists without being sovereign. As sovereign, the state is supreme over all other
organizations, institutions and individuals within its boundaries; as sovereign, the state
is independent of all other like states; sovereignity gives the state a separate and
independent existence.
(f) The state has to have a definite territory. You have read that definite territory is an
essential element of the state. It is, therefore, a territorial organization in so far as it
stays on the definite portion of territory: its territorial boundaries are fixed, definite
and permanent. Society does have a territory but its territory is not permanent; its
place of operation may extend or may get limited. The Islamic society, for example,
transcends national boundaries. So does the Free Mason Brotherhood.
(g) The state has general rules of conduct called the laws; the society, too, has general
rules of conduct but they are called rituals, norms, habits and the like. Laws of the
state are written, definite and clear; those of the society, are unwritten, indefinite and
vague.
MODULE - 1
Notes
26
Political Science
Individual and the State (h) The state’s laws have a binding sanction. The violation of the laws of the state is
followed by punishment: physical or otherwise or both. The rules of the society, if
violated, lead to social boycott, i.e. social exclusion. The area of the state, we may
say, is the area of that of taking action in case of disobedience; it has power is force.
The area of society, on the other hand, is the area of voluntary cooperation and its
power is goodwill; its method is its flexibility.
Inspite of these distinctions, society and state are closely inter-connected and inter-
dependent. Social conduct and the structure of the society must conform to the laws of the
state. The state, on the other hand, must be responsive to the will of the society.
Intext Questions 3.1
Fill in the blanks :
1. Polis, for the ancient Greeks, was both the city and the .........................
2. Society, in terms of origin, is ........................ to the state.
3. Society being instinctive is a ........................ organization, the state, being mechanical
is an ........................ organization.
4. The state exists to act as a ........................ of society.
5. The society provides an .............................. to the means of the state.
6. The area of society is ........................ cooperation; the area of the state is
........................ action.
3.3 State and other Associations
An association is an organized group of people which seeks to achieve some specific
objectives through joint efforts. An association has, therefore, three features:
(a) organization of the people
(b) some common/ specific objectives
(c) joint efforts.
So understood, family is an association. Its people are organized through ties of blood; all
the members of the family work together to attain objects common to the family. The
other examples of the association are Cricket Club, the Church, the Red Cross Society,
the Residents’ Welfare Association and the like. Associations make up the society. The
state is also an association which exists, along with other associations in the society. But
the state as an association is different from other associations. These differences may be
explained as under:
(a) All the associations, including even the state, consist of people. But while the
membership of the state is compulsory, that of the other associations is voluntary. A
person has to be a member of a state: no person, as he/ she becomes adult, is a
member of two states; his/ her membership of the state is a matter of compulsion.
The membership of an association, say a Church, Cricket Club, the Red Cross Society
MODULE - 1
Notes
27
Distinction between Society, Nation, State and Government
Individual and the State is voluntary i.e. it depends on the will of the person: a person may join an association
or may not.
(b) A person is a member of one state at one time; he/ she can not be a member of two
or three states at the same time. But a person may be, a member of numerous
associations at the same time. X is a member of the Cricket Club, the Church and
the Residents Welfare Association – all at the same time.
(c) All associations function on territory. But while for a state as an association, territory
has to be definite, the other associations do not have permanent territory. The other
associations must have place to conduct their activities but that place need not be
definite: that place may be Green Avenue today, Blue Avenue the next month. The
state’s territory does not change, it is fixed for all times.
(d) All associations, including the state, exist to perform and achieve certain ends. While
for the state, the purpose is always general (maintenance of law and order for example)
for the other associations, the purpose is usually specific, particular. The Cricket
Association exists for playing cricket, a specific and a particular purpose. We can
say that the sphere of state’s activity is all inclusive while that of any other associations,
is always limited.
(e) The character of the state is national. The character of other associations may be
local, provincial, national and even international (The Indian National Congress, for
example, is a national political party, and therefore it is of national character). The
Residents’ Welfare Association is local in character; the Government Teachers
Association of Haryana is a provincial association; the United Nations Educational
Scientific Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is international in character.
(f) The other associations differ from the state in so far as they are not sovereigns while
the state is. The other associations may be and actually always are autonomous but
they have to work within the rules of the state. The state is sovereign because it is
supreme over all other associations and is independent of all other states.
(g) The violation of the state’s laws is accompanied by punishment like imprisonment.
No other association has the power to punish its members physically. At best they
can only employ pressure or expel a defiant member.
The relationship between the state and other associations is significant in many respects.
The other associations help the state reduce its burden; they perform functions even greater
than those of the state; some of them, (for example, the family, friendship groups, church)
have been in existence much before the state. The state need not take away their powers;
it need not dominate them. What at best, the state can do and in fact, should do is that it
should supervise their activities; should co-ordinate their activities, and should see that the
other associations function properly within their spheres. Important as these other
associations are in their internal domains and in their functions, they need not override the
authority of the state, and should never challenge the state’s sovereignty. The state, on the
otherhand, need to ensure the other associations their autonomy.
MODULE - 1
Notes
28
Political Science
Individual and the State
Intext Questions 3.2
Choose the correct answer from the words given in the brackets:
1. The features of an association are (a) organized group of people (b) .........................
interests, and (c) joint efforts. (common, particular)
2. The membership of the state is ......................................... (voluntary, compulsory)
3. Family, as an association, is ......................... to the state. (prior, later)
4. The other associations do not possess ......................... the state does. (sovereignty,
population, fixed territory)
3.4 State and Government
The government, as you know, is one element of the state. It is the agency through which
laws are made, enforced and those who violate laws, are punished. It is the visible
manifestation of state authority. It consists of all the persons, institutions and agencies
through which the will of the state is expressed and carried out. Though the state speaks
through the government, it is proper to differentiate between the two.
(a) The state has authority inherent in itself whereas the government has no inherent
powers. The government gets its structure, authority and power from the Constitution
of the State.
The Constitution being the collection of basic rules, is the fundamental law
according to which the government of a state is organized.
(b) The state is a larger entity that includes all the citizens; the government is, relatively
a smaller unit that includes only those who are employed to perform its functions.
We are all citizens of the state, but we are all not functionaries of the government.
Garner writes: “The government is an essential organ or agency of the state but it is
no more than the state itself than the board of directors of a corporation is itself the
corporation.”
(c) The idea of state is quite abstract. The government is the concretization of the idea
of the state. We see the government, not the state.
(d) The state is a near permanent institution; it is so because it does not die unless it is
attacked and made a part of the other state. The government is temporary; it is so
because it may change: today’s rulers may not be tomorrow’s rulers. To put it the
other way, the state may be the same everywhere whereas, the government may
vary from one state to another. India, the United States, Great Britain and France for
example, are all states. But the governments which work in these states may not be
of the same type. In India and Great Britian there is a parliamentary government,
whereas in the United States of America there is presidential government.
Parliamentary Government is a system of government where the legislative
organ of the government is closely related to its executive organ; the cabinet
is taken from the legislature and is responsible to it, especially to the lower
house of the legislature.
MODULE - 1
Notes
29
Distinction between Society, Nation, State and Government
Individual and the State
Presidential government is a system of government where the legislative
organ of the government is independent of the executive organ; the executive
exists separately from the legislature and is not responsible to it.
(e) The sovereign powers lay with the state; it is the state which is sovereign. The
government only exercises power. The government’s powers are delegated and
derivative; the state’s powers are real and original.
(f) The opposition to the state is different from the opposition of the government. We
criticize the government; we never condemn the state. The criticism of the state is a
revolt; the criticism of the government is not a rebellion. We would never hear from
an Indian that India is bad; but we would usually hear that the policies of the Indian
Government headed by a political party or a multitude of political parties are bad. It
is a crime to condemn one’s state; it is a duty, in fact it is a right to criticise one’s
government.
(g) The government is merely an element of the state. Accordingly, it is one part of the
state. It is a part of the whole (of the state). As a part, the government is not greater
than the whole. When we talk of the state, we talk of the population, the definite
territory, the government and sovereignty. But when we talk of the government, we
talk of one part, one element of the state.
(h) The state’s territory is always definite. It remains unchanged. Its boundaries remain
where they are. The government’s territory is never permanent. Muhammad Tughlaq
had changed his capital to a place called Daulatabad. Many governments had changed
their capitals to London during the World War II, fearing the German attack.
Intext Questions 3.3
Answer the following questions. Give one word only:
1. Which organ of the government makes laws?
2. Which organ of the government enforces laws?
3. With whom does sovereignty lay?
4. Through which organ does the state express its will?
5. If the state is an abstraction, what is its concrete form?
3.5 State and Nation
By nation, as you know, we mean a historically constituted stable community of people
formed on the basis of a common language, territory, economic life and physhological
make up manifested in a common culture. Nation, Bluntschilli says, is “a union of masses
of men bound together specially by language and customs into common civilization which
gives them a sense of unity”. A nation is a culturally homogeneous social group.
NATION connotes the concept of people who are conscious of their historical
and cultural background and who wish to perpetuate this background
politically, i.e. within the framework of a state.
MODULE - 1
Notes
30
Political Science
Individual and the State
The state, as we know, is a people organized for law within a definite territory; it is always
sovereign-supreme internally and independent externally. The nation is a group of people
psychologically bound together while sharing common joys and sorrows. The distinction
between state and nation can be explained as under:
(a) Nation and state are distinct entities. A nation may not be always a state; India was
not a state before August, 1947. A state may not always be a nation. Austria -
Hungary was a state but not a nation before World War I because the heterogeneous
people did not form a culturally homogeneous people.
(b) The state is a state because it is sovereign. The nation is not a state if it is not
sovereign. Sovereignty is the chief characteristic of a state; it is not a feature of the
nation. A nation becomes a nation-state when the nation attains statehood.
(c) The state is a political concept while the nation is a cultural, and a psychological
body. Hayes says, “Nation is primarily cultural, and only incidentally political”. What
it means is that nation is not a political concept, it is only spiritual.
(d) Laws bind the people together in a state; sentiments and emotions bind the people in
a nation. The unity of the state is always external; the unity of the nation is eternal.
In the case of the state, unity is imposed; it comes from above through laws. In the
case of nation, unity comes from within, through emotions.
(e) There is an element of force connected with the state. The state’s laws are binding.
There is a coercion exercised by the state if its authority is defied. In the case of the
nation, there is the element of persuasion.
(f) The elements of the state are definite: population, fixed territory, government and
sovereignty. The elements of a nation are not definite. Somewhere common language
helps constitute a nation, somewhere else, common race makes a nation. Common
religion, for example, was a factor in making Pakistan as a nation; it was common
language in the case of the United States as a nation whereas it was common heritage
that made India a nation.
(g) A state may be larger than a nation. The former USSR had, within it, more than a
hundred nationalities. Conversely, a nation may be larger than a state; a nationality
may spread over two states. The Korean nationality is spread over two states: North
Korea and South Korea.
Intext Questions 3.4
Fill in the blanks:
1. Before the World War I, Austria – Hungry was a state, but not a .................
2. When a nation attains statehood, it becomes a ..........................
3. .........................bind the people together in a state.
4. While the state is a ......................... concept, the nation is a cultural entity.
5. ......................... people form a culturally social group.
MODULE - 1
Notes
31
Distinction between Society, Nation, State and Government
Individual and the State
What You Have Learnt
In this lesson you have learnt about the meanings of concepts such as society, government
, and association. You had already, in the previous lesson, known about the state, nation
and nationality. Now you should know that state and society are different terms: state
being a political concept, maintains the external social order; society, being a social concept,
has in it a multitude of associations and organizations. The state is a means and the society
is an end. You have also learnt that though the state is an association, it is distinct from
other associations; it alone has sovereignty, the other associations accept the sovereign
predominance of the state. The state and government are not the same, though the
government does everything on behalf of the state. The government is an organ of the
state, a state’s agency which makes laws, enforces them and punishes those who violate
those laws. Nation is a cultural and a psychological unity and as such an eternal one. The
state, you must have noted, is a political structure/organization.
Terminal Exercises
1. Define the terms: (a) Nation, (b) Government (c) Association
2. Distinguish between State and society.
3. Distinguish between State and Other Associations.
4. Distinguish between State and Government.
5. Distinguish between State and Nation.
Answers to Intext Questions
3.1
(1) state,
(2) prior
(3) natural, artificial,
(4) means
(5) end,
(6) voluntary, mechanical
3.2
(1) particular,
(2) compulsory,
(3) prior
(4) sovereignty
MODULE - 1
Notes
32
Political Science
Individual and the State
3.3
(1) Legislature
(2) Executive
(3) State
(4) Government
(5) Government
3.4
(1) nation
(2) nation-state
(3) Laws
(4) political
(5) Homogeneous
Hints of Terminal Exercises
1. Refer to sections (a) 3.5, (b) 3.4 (c) 3.3
2. Refer to section 3.2
3. Refer to section 3.3
4. Refer to section 3.4
5. Refer to sect ion 3.5
MODULE - 1
Notes
33
Major Political Theories
Individual and the State
4
MAJOR POLITICAL THEORIES
ou will learn, in this lesson, about major political theories : liberalism, Marxism and
Gandhism. Liberalism and Marxism have caught the attention of the people in most parts
of the twentieth century. Liberalism emerged from the Enlightenment, the Glorious revolution
in England, the American War of Independence and the French Revolution. It has been
with us as the political philosophy of the capitalist West. Marxism rose as a reaction
against the liberal-capitalist society. With the disintegration of the USSR in 1991, the last
major socialistic/Marxist state, Marxism has lost much of its popularity. Gandhism, while
challenging the ideals of both liberalism and Marxism, presents not only a critique of both
these ideologies, but also provides relevant alternative theories.
Objectives
After studying this lesson you will be able to
explain the meaning of liberalism and its features;
identify the basic tenets of Marxism;
describe the theory of dialectical materialism, historical materialism; theory of surplus
value, theory of class struggle, revolution, dictatorship of proletariat, and the classless
society;
know contribution of Lenin and Mao to Marxism;
analyse the relevance of Marxism;
explain Gandhi’s views on state, decentralization, democracy, swadeshi, trusteeship,
cottage/ small scale industries etc.;
describe the significance of purity of means to achieve ends;
highlight Gandhi’s emphasis on Swaraj, Satyagraha, Non-violence; and
explain Gandhi’s steadfast opposition to discrimination based on race and his life-
long efforts for the upliftment of the Harijans / Dalits.
Y
MODULE - 1
Notes
34
Political Science
Individual and the State
4.1 Liberalism
Liberalism is fairly an old political ideology. Its roots can be traced to the days of the
sixteenth century. Since then it has passed through numerous stages. The Western
Enlightenment had refused to accept moral goals as absolute truths; the English Glorious
revolution (1688) had denounced the divine rights of the kings;
The French Revolution gave the cardinal ideas of ‘Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity’ and
the American War of Independence a little earlier (1775-76) laid emphasis on the declaration
of human rights.
4.1.1 Meaning of Liberalism
Harold Laski, an English scholar of Political Science once wrote: “It (liberalism) is not
easy to describe, much less to define, for it is hardly less a habit of mind than a body of
doctrine”. What it means is that liberalism is too dynamic and too flexible a concept to give
it a precise meaning. And yet the scholars have made attempts to define it. Sartori says,
‘Very simply, liberalism is the theory and practice of individual liberty, juridical defense and
the constitutional state.” According to Koerner, “Liberalism begins and ends with the
ideals of individual freedom, individual human rights and individual human happiness”.
Encyclopaedia Britannica defines liberalism “as an idea committed to freedom, as a method
and policy in government, as an organizing principle in society and as a way of life for the
individual and the community.”
Liberalism is a theory of reforms, for it has stood for reforms in economic, social and
political fields. It is a theory of liberty, individual liberty, individual autonomy, for it has
argued in favour of the development of human personality. It is a theory of democracy, for
it has favoured constitutional government, government based on the consent of the people,
rule of law, decentralization, free and fair elections. To conclude, we may highlight three
aspects of liberalism which clearly help us in understanding its meanings: in social sphere,
liberalism stands for secularism and a society that opposes, all kinds of social discrimination;
in economic sphere, it favours a capitalistic economy, individual ownership of the means of
production and maximum profit-earning motive, in political sphere, it stands for a democratic
polity, individual rights and liberties, responsive and responsible government, free and
impartial judiciary and the like.
4.1.2 Features of Liberalism
We may identity certain characteristics of liberalism. These characteristic features are :
(1) Individual Liberty : Liberalism is essentially an ideology of liberty. Its love for individual
liberty is unquestionable. It has become libertarianism. For the liberals, liberty is the very
essence of human personality. It is a means to one’s development.
(2) Individual-centred theory : Liberalism begins and ends with individual. For liberals,
individual is the centre of all activities, the focal point; individual is the end while all other
associations, including the state, are the means, which exist for the individual. individual is
the centre around which all things move.
(3) Capitalistic Economy : Liberalism advocates free-market economy, i.e., the capitalistic
mode of economy. It believes in private property system, regarding property rights as
sacrosanct; maximum profit as the only motive; capitalistic mode of production and
MODULE - 1
Notes
35
Major Political Theories
Individual and the State distribution as the only essence; the market forces as the controlling means of economy.
(4) Limited State : Liberalism advocates the concept of limited state. The liberals view
the state as a means for attaining the good of the individual. They oppose every type of
totalitarian state. They are of the opinion that a more powerful state means a less free
individual. Locke used to say, “because the functions of the state are limited, so are limited
its powers.”
(5) Opposed to Traditions/Superstitions : As liberalism rose as a reaction against
traditions/superstitions, it is, by its nature, opposed to all reactionary measures. Liberalism,
emerging from Renaissance and Reformation, stood, and actually stands, for reason and
rationalism. As against the feudal model of man as a passive being, liberalism favours a
model of man who is more active and more acquisitive.
(6) Democracy : Liberalism is an exponent of democratic government. It seeks to establish
a government of the people, by the people and for the people; a government that functions
according to the Constitution and constitutionalism; a government that upholds the rule of
law; a government that secures rights and liberties of the people. Liberalism, McGovern
says, is a combination of democracy and individualism.
(7) Welfareism : Liberalism is closely associated with welfarism. Welfarism, as a state
activity, is the idea that state works for the welfare of the people. The liberal concept of
state activity is one where the state serves the people. In other words, the welfare sate is
a ‘social service’ state.
4.1.3 Weaknesses of Liberalism
Liberalism has its own inherent defects. It is a philosophy full of tensions. On the one
hand, it unfurls the flag of liberty, and on the other, it argues for equality. On the one hand,
it works, within the framework of market society, it promises equal opportunities to all. On
the one hand, it asks for unlimited rights to acquire property, and on the other, it seeks to
demand a share of profit for the welfare of those who are unemployed and the needy. On
the one hand, it builds a capitalistic economy, ending up ultimately in inequalities, and on
the other, it endeavours to establish an egalitarian society.
Intext Questions 4.1
Fill in the blank
1. The Enlightenment had refused to accept the moral goals as ................... truths.
2. The French Revolution declared ........................ equality and fraternity as great
political values.
3. The 17th-18th century .......................... was also known as negative liberalism.
4. McGovern said liberalism is composed of two elements: democracy and
................................
5. Liberal economy is............................. economy.
6. The liberal state is a social ..............................state.
7. Liberalism is the political philosophy of the ............................. class.
MODULE - 1
Notes
36
Political Science
Individual and the State
4.2 Marxism
Following the establishment of factories and the capitalistic
mode of production during the 17th-18th centuries West, the
conditions of the workers deteriorated. The workers who
entered the factories were subject to all sorts of exploitation
: long hours of work, life in slums, ill-health etc. The result
was exploitation of the workers, ever-increasing gap between
the rich and the poor, economic inequalities, degradation and
alienation. Karl Marx and Frederich Engels realised clearly
the adverse effects of capitalism and in the process, brought
out what is called scientific socialism or Marxism (after the
name of Marx). Those who contributed to the Marxian
philosophy after Marx and Engels include, among others, V.I.
Lenin (Russia), and Mao Zedong (China).
Alienation means aloofness, estrangement, apathy, cutting off. Marx finds
alienation in extermination i.e., man finds himself external (alien) to his
activity, his self.
4.2.1 Marxism and its Basic Postulates
Marxism is the political philosophy of the working class as liberalism is the political philosophy
of the capitalist class. It is a theory of social change : why social changes take place and
how do these changes come into effect? The social changes take place because of the
material factors and through a method called ‘dialectical materialistic’ method.
Marxism is based on certain assumptions/postulates. These are :
1) Nothing happens in the world on its own; there is always a cause -effect relationship
in what we see around. The relations of production (i.e., material relations among
the people), as the basis of society, provide the cause while the productive forces
constitute the effect.
2) The real development is always the material development (i.e., the economic
development). The progressive development of productive forces indicates the
progressive level of development.
3) The material (i.e. economic) factor is the dominant factor in both individual life and
social life.
4) Human being is born at a particular stage of social / material development, i.e., born
in a social setting which exists independent of him. But being an active being, human
being makes his own social setting. Marx had said, human beings are born in history,
but they make history.
5) Social classes, especially the opposing classes, through their struggle and following
the process of revolution, move in the forward direction. That is why the Marxists
say that every subsequent society is better than the preceding society.
6) Revolutions mean total and wholesome changes; they are not a negative force, but
are what Marx had called, the locomotives of history. When launched and successful,
revolutions take the society to a higher stage of development.
KarlMarx
(1818 – 1883)
MODULE - 1
Notes
37
Major Political Theories
Individual and the State
7) The state, being the result of a class society, is a class institution. It is neither impartial
nor just; it is a class institution. It is a partisan, oppressive and exploitative institution;
it exists to serve the dominant class of which it is an instrument. In the capitalist
society, the capitalist state protects and promotes the interests of the capitalists while
in the socialist society, it protects and promotes the interests of the working class. By
the time the socialist society becomes fully communistic, the state would, by then,
have withered away.
Withering away of the state, according to the Marxists, means disappearing
of the state, i.e., slowly and gradually the state apparatus would go the whole
way.
Thus, Marxism advocates communism as the highest form of society where men would
work as they wish and would get what they want : “from each according to his ability to
each according to his needs.”
4.2.2 Highlights of Marxism
Marxism revolves around the following theoretical propositions.
Dialectical materialism is the sum-total of the general principles which explain as to
why and how social changes take place. The social changes take place because of the
material factors and through the dialectical materialistic method. The dialectical materialistic
method is a triple method. According to Marx,
Relations of Productions constitute the basis of the society at any given point of time.
What are called the social relations among the people are, for the Marxists, the relations of
production.
Productive Forces constitute those elements which originate from the relations of
production, but which, though opposite to the latter, promise more production through newer
methods/devices.
In very simple words, the Marxian theory states that all development takes place through
struggle between opposites and because of factors which are economic.
New Mode of Production is the result of the struggle between the relations of
production and productive forces at a matured stage of their development. The new
mode of production has the merits of both the relations of production and productive
forces; hence a higher stage of economic development.
Historical Materialism is also called the economic/materialistic/ deterministic
interpretation of history. The Marxian explanation of history is that it is a record of the
self-development of productive forces; that the society keeps marching on its path of
economic/ material development; that each stage of development indicates the level of
development attained; that history is the history of numerous socio- economic formations:
primitive communistic, slave-owning, feudal, capitalist and thereafter the transitional socialist
followed by the communist society; that each succeeding society is an improvement over
the preceeding one; that the socialist society, after the abolition of the capitalist society
would be a classless society but with a state in the form of the dictatorship of the proletariat;
the communist society, which follows the socialists society, would be both classless society
and stateless society.
Theory of Surplus Value is another characteristic of Marxism. Marx says that it is the
MODULE - 1
Notes
38
Political Science
Individual and the State
worker who creates value in the commodity when he produces it. But he does not get
what he produces, he gets only the wages: over and above the wages is what goes to the
employer. That is the surplus value. The surplus value is the difference between what the
value a labourer produces and what he gets in the form of wages. In simple words, the
labourer gets the wages; the employer, the profit. This surplus value makes the rich, richer
and the poor, poorer. It is through surplus value that capitalists thrive.
Theory of Class Struggle is another tenet of Marxism. In the Marxian view, all hitherto
history has been the history of class struggle between opposing classes. Class struggle is
the characteristic of class societies. In the classless societies, there is no class struggle
because there are, in such societies, no opposing/ antagonistic classes. Class struggle, in
class societies, (i.e., in slave-owning society, the feudal society, the capitalist society) is of
mainly three types: economic, ideological, political.
Marxism advocates revolution. Revolutions, the Marxists say, are locomotives of history.
Revolutions occur when the relations of production come into conflict with the productive
forces, leading, thus, to a new mode of production. They bring about a complete
transformation of society, without violence if possible, and with it, if necessary. Revolutions,
indicate changes: wholesome changes, changes in the very character of a given society.
They signify the coming up of a higher stage of social development. Accordingly, the
Marxists regard revolution as a positive phenomenon.
Dictatorship of the proletariat means the rule of the working class. It is a state of the
workers in the socialist society which follows the capitalist society. It is the dictatorship of
the workers in the socialist society in the sense there is the dictatorship of the capitalists in
the capitalist society. There capitalists rule the way they want; now the workers’ rule in
the socialist society the way the workers want. Nevertheless, Marx makes it clear that the
dictatorship of the proletariat, i.e., the workers’ state, is an interim or a transitional
arrangement which functions between the capitalist society and the communist society.
Once the socialist society is completely established, the workers state will not be needed,
i.e., it will wither away (disappear slowly). Lenin insists that the dictatorship of the proletariat
is better than the bourgeois state, both quantitatively and qualitatively (at it looks after the
interests and welfare of the whole multitude of the workers rather than handful of capitalists).
The socialist society that follows the capitalist society after its abolition is a classless
society. It is a classless society in the sense that all are workers wheresoever they work,
in the office, in the factory or on the fields: each gets job according to one’s ability (‘from
each according to his abilities to each according to his work’). The communist society
which follows the socialist society, will be both the classless society and the stateless
society.
4.2.3 Relevance of Marxism
Marxism, both as a philosophy and also as a practice, has attained a position unparallelled
in social and political thought. Its appeal crosses all boundaries, and in fact, all limits. Its
adversaries are as much convinced of its strength as are its admirers. And yet its
shortcomings are obvious.
Changes do not occur simply because of the clashes between the opposing classes. History
is indebted to class cooperation as well for its development. Material factor, though important
and dominating it may be, is not the sole factor in explaining the whole complex of society’s
intricacies. Indeed, man does not live by bread alone, but it is also true that he can not live
MODULE - 1
Notes
39
Major Political Theories
Individual and the State
without it. Marxism has underestimated the worth and strength of national/ patriotic
sentiments. To say that the workers have no fatherland of their own, as Marx used to say,
is to make them parentless. Marxism also underestimated the importance of the state. To
say that the State is a class institution and therefore, an oppressive and exploitative one is
to oversimplify things.
The Marxian formulations, in practice, have been really disappointing. Marxism, as a practice,
has failed, whatever be the reasons. One chief reason has been its centralizing tendency:
the dictatorship of the proletariat becomes the dictatorship of the communist party, the
party’s dictatorship becomes, ultimately, the dictatorship of one man: be that a Stalin or a
Mao. In the Soviet Union, reform movement (Glasnost, especially) initiated by Mikhail
Gorbachev marked the beginning of the end of the communist movement not only in
Europe but almost the world over. The communist China has introduced numerous
liberalization measures in its economy and polity. The relevance of Marxism as an alternative
ideology before the world is no more unquestioned.
Intext Questions 4.2
Fill in the blanks :
1. Marxism is a reaction against ..........................(feudalism capitalism)
2. Marxism is regarded as the political philosophy of the ...................class. (working,
capitalist)
3. For the Marxists, the ...................... factor is the decisive factor in individual/ social
life. (political, cultural, material)
4. In Marxian scheme, the relations of production give birth to ................... of
......................(forces, production, antithesis, synthesis)
5. From each according to his abilities to each according to his ...................’. It is the
essence of socialism. (work, needs)
6. From each according to his work to each according to his ......................’. It is the
essence of communism. (work, needs)
7. For Marx, revolutions are ................... of history (engines, ends).
4.3 Gandhism
Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948) was the supreme leader of
the Indian nationalist movement which he had led for about
thirty years, between 1917 and 1947. He was a thinker in so
far as he had challenged most of the assumptions and doctrines
of his times, and in their places, provided possible and plausible
alternatives.
It is really difficult to project Gandhiji in any particular frame.
He was more than a Plato, one can possible call him a
Socrates; he was more than an Aristotle, one can call him a
Buddha; he was more than a Mill or a Marx, one can call him
Mahatma Gandhi
MODULE - 1
Notes
40
Political Science
Individual and the State a Guru Nanak. Gandhiji was a liberal among the Marxists, and a Marxist among the
liberals; he was a democrat among the individualists and an individualist among the socialists.
He was an idealist among the realists, and a realist among the idealists. He had combined
in himself the virtues of all the known ideologies, past and present.
4.3.1 Gandhi as a Critic of Western Civilization
Gandhiji was a critic of Western Civilization. His complaint against western materialism is
that it destroys the very essence of spiritualism. He regarded the western type of man as
an atomistic individual, with all flesh and no soul.
As against the state that existed in the West, Gandhiji advocated what he called, the
Ramrajya; as against the western style of managing things through the centralizing forces,
he stood for a decentralized polity. As against materialism, industrialization and capitalism,
he made a strong plea for Swadeshi, cottage industries and the theory of Trusteeship.
4.3.2 State, Decentralization, Cottage Industries, Trusteeship
Gandhiji is not an admirer of the type of the state that exists in the Western Society. For
him, the Western state represented ‘violence in a concentrated form’; it is a soulless
machine. Accordingly, Gandhiji, as a philosophical anarchist, admitted the state, but very
unwillingly, only when it is most needed.
Anarchist is one who is opposed to every type of state; anarchism is a theory of
lawlessness: without state, without government, without law.
Gandhism stands for a non-violent state based on (i) the consent of the people (ii) the near
unity in the society. Gandhiji advocated decentralization of power: both political and
economic. The spirit of Gandhian democracy is the spirit of decentralization. Decentralization
means devolution of power at each level beginning from individual/ local unit and reaching
the apex. The essence of decentralization, according to Gandhiji, is that all powers flow
from below and go up, in ascending order.
So considered, political power, in the Gandhian scheme, is vested in the individuals: the
centre of all activity, the repository of Swaraj; from individual, power is transferred to the
village; from village, the power goes to the higher unit, and ultimately, ends up with the
central/ national government which, practically performs only the coordinating functions.
Thus what is or what can not be done by the individual is done by the village, what is not
done by the village is done by the local/ regional government; what is not done by the
regional/ provincial government is done by the central/ national government. The spirit of
the Gandhian Ramrajya is that it is a self-regulating system where everyone is one’s own
ruler, and not a hindrance to one’s neighbours.
Gandhiji’s concept of decentralization has an economic aspect. He argued for the devolution
of economic power as well. He advocated village economy through the promotion of
village, small, cottage industries. In fact, he was for the self-reliant village economy. His
concept of Swadeshi is “that spirit which requires us to serve our immediate neighbours
and use things produced in our neibourhood in preference to those more remote.”
Gandhiji favoured the revival of indigenous industries so that people could have enough to
eat. In his opinion, any kind of economy which exploited people and helped concentrated
wealth in fewer hands, stands condemned.
MODULE - 1
Notes
41
Major Political Theories
Individual and the State Gandhiji’s idea of trusteeship was unique. It was unique because it aimed at establishing
cordial relations between the capital and the labour. Declaring all property to be the property
of the community as a whole, Gandhiji pleaded that all the employers (industrialists, capitalists
and the like) are the trustees of what they hold. As such, they all are entitled only for the
money they need to satisfy their necessities as do the employees (the workers etc.). For
Gandhiji no individual is the owner: all work and all are the workers; everyone gets for the
service one renders; the profit is not of the owner, but is what belongs to the community.
The employers are the trustees, and not the masters; the employees as necessary
components of the enterprises, are the workers and not the slaves.
4.3.3 Ends and Means
According to Gandhiji, ends and means constitute two aspects of the same reality, i.e., two
sides of the same coin. They form an organic whole. Ends grow out of the means “As are
the means, so are the ends”. Gandhiji used to say. He also said, the means may be likened
to a seed; the ends, to a tree and there is just the same inviolable connection between the
means and the ends as there is between the seed and the tree.” He argued that the state
can not attain its ideal character as long as the means are tainted with violence. That is
why he always laid emphasis on the purity of means to achieve the ends. Impure means
can not achieve pure ends. He said once: “I would not accept Swaraj if it comes through
bloodshed”. Again, “For me, Ahimsa comes before Swaraj.” So close and inseparable is
the relation between the two that if one takes care of the means, the ends will take care of
themselves. Furthermore, the realization of the goal has to be, for Gandhiji, in proportion to
that of the means.
Gandhiji was no Machiavelli. For Machiavelli, ends justify the means; for Gandhiji, means
justify the ends.
4.3.4 Society and Sarvodaya
Gandhism is not only a theory of politics, economy, religion, strategy, but also is a theory of
society. Gandhiji’s whole social philosophy is a philosophy of equality: equality not in the
sense of absolute equality, but in the sense that as human beings, all are equal. A society
based on equality, according to Gandhiji, is a society which rejects any and every type of
discrimination: either on the basis of caste, creed, class, sex, race, or region. We are born
as human beings, not as Hindus or Muslims, We are born as human beings, not as an upper
caste being or a dalit. Gandhiji is opposed to all types of discriminatory tendencies and
trends. For him, there is only one caste, one class, one religion, one race, and that is
humanity. He, therefore, did not admit any discrimination. In fact, he was more for the
welfare of the weaker, i.e., for women as compared to men; for the weaker sections of
society: the Harijans, the Dalits. It is not that he wanted to deprive ‘A’ and ‘give’ to ‘B’; it
is that he wanted to give ‘B’ more so as to enable him to get to the heights of ‘A’. He
advocated equality so as to level people in social, economic, and political hierarchy. His
concept of equality aimed at bridging the gaps and not distancing them.
Gandhiji’s concept of Sarvodaya sums up his views on the kind of society he used to
dream. Sarvodaya, as Gandhiji had visualised, is the greatest good of all the members of
the society. It is the welfare of all. It is the good of the individual together with the good of
all the individuals, i.e., the good of each with the good of all. The concept of good in
Sarvodaya is not merely material, it is moral and spiritual as well.
MODULE - 1
Notes
42
Political Science
Individual and the State
Intext Questions 4.3
Answer the following questions. Give one word only
1. What type of state Gandhiji had advocated?
2. What strategy did Gandhiji suggest for employer-employee cordial relationship?
3. With what name did Gandhiji address the people of the scheduled castes?
4. Which of the two ends and means, Gandhism advocated.
5. What did Gandhiji call the greatest good of all the individuals, especially of the poor,
the poorest of the poor’?
What You Have Learnt
In this lesson, you have learnt about three major political theories: Liberalism, Marxism
and Gandhism. You now know that liberalism is a political philosophy which advocates the
autonomy of individual, the constitutional state, the responsive government, rights and
liberties of the individual, free press, rule of law, impartial judiciary, decentralization and
the like. You also know that Marxism is a political philosophy of the working class, which
advocates equality, social justice, absence of all types of exploitation, a planned economy
with employment for each and all. You also know that Gandhism is a political philosophy of
Satya and Ahimsa, an alternative solution of all problems faced by humanity, a synthesis of
all major political ideologies of the world.
Terminal Exercises
1. What is meant by liberalism?
2. What do you mean by ‘withering away’ of the state?
3. Discuss dialectical materialism as a feature of Marxism.
4. Is Marxism relevant today? Explain
5. Do you agree with the view that Gandhism is a critique of the western civilization?
6. What was Gandhiji’s concept of Ramrajya?
Answer to Intext Questions
4.1
1. Absolute
2. Liberty
3. Liberalism
4. Individualism
MODULE - 1
Notes
43
Major Political Theories
Individual and the State 5. Capitalistic
6. Service
7. Capitalist
4.2
1. Capitalism
2. Working
3. Material
4. Forces, Production
5. Work
6. Needs
7. Engines
4.3
1. Ramrajya
2. Trusteeship
3. Harijans
4. Means
5. Sarvodya
Hints of Terminal Exercises
1. Refer to section 4.1.1
2. Refer to section 4.2.1
3. Refer to section 4.2.2
4. Refer to section 4.2.3
5. Refer to section 4.3.1
6. Refer to section 4.3.2
MODULE - 2
Notes
44
Political Science
Aspects of the
Constitution of India
5
PREAMBLE AND THE SALIENT
FEATURES OF THE
CONSTITUTION OF INDIA
he Constitution of India was framed by a Constituent Assembly. This Assembly was an
indirectly elected body. It had laid down certain ideals to be included in the Constitution.
These ideals included commitment to democracy, guarantee to all the people of India-
Justice, equality and freedom. It had also proclaimed that India will be a Sovereign
Democratic Republic.
The Constitution of India begins with a Preamble.The Preamble contains the ideals,
objectives and basic principles of the Constitution. The salient features of the Constitution
have evolved directly and indirectly from these objectives which flow from the Preamble.
In this lesson you will learn about the framing of the Constitution, its political philosophy as
reflected in the Preamble and the salient features of the Constitution.
Objectives
After studying this lesson you will be able to :
recognize the significance of the Constitution as the fundamental law of the land;
describe the composition of the Constituent Assembly and the role of the Drafting
Committee and the objectives of the Constituent Assembly;
describe the Preamble to the Constitution and its relevance;
identify the basic principles of Preamble and their reflection in the constitutional
provisions;
identify the main features of the Constitution of India;
distinguish between a written and an unwritten, as well as a rigid and a flexible
constitution;
analyse the nature of the Indian Constitution;
T
MODULE - 2
Notes
45
Preamble and The Salient Features of The Constitution of India
Aspects of the
Constitution of India
establish the importance of Fundamental Rights, Fundamental Duties and Directive
Principles of State policy; and
recognize the special features that distinguish the Indian Constitution from other
Constitutions of the world.
5.1 The Constitution
The Modern State is considered to be a state for the welfare of the people. It is therefore,
suggested that it should have a government of a particular form with appropriate powers
and functions.
The document containing laws and rules which determine and describe the form of the
government, the relationship between the citizens and the government, is called a
Constitution.
As such a constitution is concerned with two main aspects the relation between the different
levels of government and between the government and the citizens.
A constitution is the basic fundamental law of a State. It lays down the objectives of the
State which it has to achieve. It also provides for the constitutional framework that is,
various structures and organs of the governments at different levels. In addition, it describes
the rights and duties of the citizens. It is, therefore, considered to be the basis for the
governance of the country both in terms of goals and objectives as also their structures
and functions.
5.2 The Constituent Assembly
The Constitution of India was framed by the Constituent Assembly. The Assembly was
constituted in 1946.
The members of the Constituent Assembly were indirectly elected by the members of the
existing Provincial Assemblies. In addition, there were members nominated by the rulers
of the Princely States. With Independence of India, the Constituent Assembly became a
fully sovereign body.
The Constituent Assembly, following the partition of the country in 1947, consisted of 299
members as on 31st December 1947. Of these 229 members were elected by the provincial
assemblies and the rest were nominated by the rulers of the princely states. Majority of
the members in the Constituent Assembly belonged to the Congress party. All prominent
leaders of the freedom movement were members of the Assembly.
Princely States During the British Rule there were about 560 areas which were not
directly under the control of the British. These were Kingdoms or ‘Riyasats’ under
Indian rulers or Princes. These were called ‘Princely States’. To name a few, Kashmir,
Patiala, Hyderabad, Mysore, Baroda were some of the princely states.
5.2.1 Working of the Constituent Assembly
The Constituent Assembly was chaired by the President of the Assembly Dr. Rajendra
Prasad was elected as the President of the Assembly. The Assembly worked with the
help of a large number of committees and sub-committees. The committees were of two
MODULE - 2
Notes
46
Political Science
Aspects of the
Constitution of India
types : (a) relating to matters concerning with procedures, and (b) concerning important
issues. In addition there was an Advisory Committee primarily advised from outside. The
most important committee was the Drafting Committee. Dr. B.R. Ambedkar was the
Chairman of the Drafting Committee. The task of the Committee was to prepare the draft
of the Constitution. The Constitutent Assembly met for 166 days spread over a period of
2 years 11months and 18 days. The procedure followed in the Assembly was Similar to
that which is followed in legislature. You will study about the legislative procedure in detail
in subsequent lesson on Parliament and the legislative Assemblies.
The leaders of the Constituent Assembly were conscious that the need of the hour was
general agreement on different issues and principles. As a result, deliberate efforts were
made to achive consensus. While arriving at any decision, the aspirations of the people
were uppermost in the minds of the members of the Assembly.
Intext Question 5.1
Tick out ( ) the correct response:
1. The Constitution of a country provides the basis for
a) punishment of criminals
b) governance of the country
c) relationship between the citizens
d) trade relations with other countries.
2. The Constituent Assembly of India was composed of the members :
a) nominated by the British Government.
b) nominated by political parties.
c) elected by Provincial Assemblies and nominees of the Princely States.
d) elected by people.
3. The Constitution of India was drafted by the
a) Advisory Committee
Dr. Rajendra Prasad
President of Constituent
Assembly
Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, Chairman
of drafting committee of
constitution
MODULE - 2
Notes
47
Preamble and The Salient Features of The Constitution of India
Aspects of the
Constitution of India
b) Secretariat of the Assembly
c) President of the Assembly
d) Drafting Committee
5.3 Objectives of The Constitution
The Constitution of independent India was framed in the background of about 200 years
of colonial rule, a mass-based freedom struggle, the national movement, partition of the
country and spread of communal violence. Therefore, the framers of the Constitution
were concerned about the aspirations of the people, integrity and unity of the country and
establishment of a democratic society. Amongst the members there were some who held
different ideological views. There were others who were inclined to socialist principles,
still others holding Gandhian thinking but nothing could act as any kind of impediment in the
progress of the Assembly’s work because all these members were of liberal ideas. Their
main aim was to give India a ‘Constitution’ which will fulfill the cherished ideas and ideals
of the people of this country.
Dr. Rajendra Prasad signing the new constitution
Conscious efforts were made to have consensus on different issues and principles and
thereby avoid disagreement. The consensus came in the form of the ‘Objectives Resolution’
moved by Jawahar Lal Nehru in the Constituent Assembly on December 17, 1946 which
was almost unanimously adopted on January 22, 1947. In the light of these ‘Objectives’
the Assembly completed its task by November 26, 1949. The constitution was enforced
with effect from January 26, 1950. From that day India became a Republic. Exactly
twenty years before the first independence day was celebrated on Jan. 26, 1930 as decided
by the Lahore session of the Congress on Dec. 31, 1929. Hence, January 26, 1950 was
decided as the day to enforce the constitution.
5.4 The Preamble
As you know that the Constitution of India commences with a Preamble. Let us find out
MODULE - 2
Notes
48
Political Science
Aspects of the
Constitution of India
what a ‘Preamble’ is. The Preamble is like an introduction or preface of a book. As an
introduction, it is not a part of the contents but it explains the purposes and objectives with
which the document has been written. So is the case with the ‘Preamble’ to the Indian
Constitution. As such the ‘Preamble’ provides the guide lines of the Constitution.
Preamble of Indian Constitution
The Preamble, in brief, explains the objectives of the Constitution in two ways: one, about
the structure of the governance and the other, about the ideals to be achieved in independent
India. It is because of this, the Preamble is considered to be the key of the Constitution.
The objectives, which are laid down in the Preamble, are:
i) Description of Indian State as Sovereign, Socialist, Secular, Democratic Republic.
(Socialist, Secular added by 42nd Amendment, 1976).
ii) Provision to all the citizens of India i.e.,
a) Justice social, economic and political
b) Liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship
c) Equality of status and opportunity
THE CONSTITUTION OF INDIA
PREAMBLE
WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solemnly resolved to
constitute India into a
1
[SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST SECULAR
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC] and to secure to all its citizens:
JUSTICE, social, economic and political;
LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship;
EQUALITY of status and of opportunity;
and to promote among them all
FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual and the
2
[unity and integrity of the Nation];
IN OUR CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY this twenty-sixth day of
November, 1949, do HEREBY ADOPT, ENACT AND GIVE TO
OURSELVES THIS CONSTITUTION.
1. Subs. by the Constitution (Forty second Amendment) Act, 1976, s. 2 for
“SOVEREIGN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC” (w.e.f. 3-1-1977)
2. Subs. by s. 2. ibid, for “unity of the Nation” (w.e.f. 3-1-1977).
MODULE - 2
Notes
49
Preamble and The Salient Features of The Constitution of India
Aspects of the
Constitution of India
d) Fraternity assuring dignity of the individual and unity and integrity of the
nation.
Let us see what these objectives mean and how have these been reflected in the
Constitution?
5.5 Sovereign, Socialist, Secular, Democratic Republic
Sovereignty
Sovereignty is one of the foremost elements of any independent State. It means absolute
independence, i.e., a government which is not controlled by any other power : internal or
external. A country cannot have its own constitution without being sovereign. India is a
sovereign country. It is free from external control. It can frame its policies. India is free to
formulate its own foreign policy.
Socialist
The word socialist was not there in the Preamble of the Constitution in its original form. In
1976, the 42
nd
Amendment to the Constitution incorporated ‘Socialist’ and ‘Secular’, in the
Preamble. The word ‘Socialism’ had been used in the context of economic planning. It
signifies major role in the economy. It also means commitment to attain ideals like removal
of inequalities, provision of minimum basic necessities to all, equal pay for equal work.
When you read about the Directive Principles of the State Policy, you will see how these
ideals have been incorporated as well as partly, implemented in the Constitution.
Secularism
In the context of secularism in India, it is said that ‘India is neither religious, nor irreligious
nor anti-religious.’ Now what does this imply? It implies that in India there will be no
‘State’ religion – the ‘State’ will not support any particular religion out of public fund. This
has two implications, a) every individual is free to believe in, and practice, any religion he/
she belongs to, and, b) State will not discriminate against any individual or group on the
basis of religion.
Democratic Republic
As you have noticed while reading the Preamble to the Constitution, that the Constitution
belongs to the people of India. The last line of the Preamble says ‘…. Hereby Adopt,
Enact And Give To Ourselves This Constitution’. In fact the Democratic principles of the
country flow from this memorable last line of the Preamble. Democracy is generally
known as government of the people, by the people and for the people. Effectively this
means that the Government is elected by the people, it is responsible and accountable to
the people. The democratic principles are highlighted with the provisions of universal adult
franchise, elections, fundamental rights, and responsible government. These you will read
in subsequent lessons.
The Preamble also declares India as a Republic. It means that the head of the State is the
President who is indirectly elected and he is not a hereditary ruler as in case of the British
Monarch. Under chapter of Union Executive you will read in detail about the election of
the President of India.
MODULE - 2
Notes
50
Political Science
Aspects of the
Constitution of India
Intext Questions 5.2
1. Secularism in India means __________________________
(rejection of religion/respect for all the religions/respect for ones own religion).
2. Socialism in India means ___________________ (state ownership of all industries/
state’s major role in economy/equal distribution of wealth).
3. India became a Republic on _____________ (15 August, 1947, 26 November 1949/
26 January 1950).
5.6 Justice, Liberty and Equality
The struggle for freedom was not only against the British rule but their struggle should also
usher in an era of restoring the dignity of men and women, removal of poverty and end to
all types of exploitation. Such strong motivations and cherished ideals had prompted the
framers to lay emphasis on the provisions of Justice, Liberty and Equality to all the citizens
of India.
Justice
Justice promises to give people what they are entitled to in terms of basic rights to food,
clothing, housing, participation in the decision-making and living with dignity as human
beings. The Preamble covers all these dimensions of justice – social, economic and political.
Besides, the granting of political justice in the form of universal adult franchise or the
representative form of democracy. You will read socio-economic justice in next lessons.
Liberty
The Preamble also mentions about liberty of thought and expression. These freedoms
have been guaranteed in the Constitution through the Fundamental Rights. Though freedom
from want has not been guaranteed in the Fundamental Rights, certain directives to the
State have been mentioned in the Directive Principles.
Equality
Equality is considered to be the essence of modern democratic ideology. The Constitution
makers placed the ideals of equality in a place of pride in the Preamble. All kinds of
inequality based on the concept of rulers and the ruled or on the basis of caste and gender,
were to be eliminated. All citizens of India should be treated equally and extended equal
protection of law without any discrimination based on caste, creed, birth, religion, sex etc.
Similarly equality of opportunities implies that regardless of the socio-economic situations
into which one is born, he/she will have the same chance as everybody else to develop his/
her talents and choose means of livelihood.
Intext Questions 5.3
Fill in the blanks :
1. Justice means giving people what they ______________. (are entitled to/ want)
2. The Constitution of India guarantees ____________________. (liberty of thought
and expression/freedom from want)
MODULE - 2
Notes
51
Preamble and The Salient Features of The Constitution of India
Aspects of the
Constitution of India
5.7 Fraternity, Dignity, Unity and Integrity
In the background of India’s multi-lingual, multi-cultural and multi- religious society and
keeping in view the partition of the country, the framers of the Constitution were very
much concerned about the unity and integrity of our newly independent country. There
was a need for harmonious co-existence among various religions, linguistic, cultural and
economic groups. Inclusion of phrases like ‘dignity of individuals’, ‘fraternity among people’
and ‘unity and integrity of the nation’ in the Preamble highlight such a need.
Egalitarian: A society, which feels concerned for meeting the needs of all its
members, is known as egalitarian society. An egalitarian state is expected to reduce
inequalities among citizens and fulfill minimum requirements of all.
The Preamble has provided for a vision humane which is, democratic, secular and,
therefore, egalitarian. Therefore, inspite of not being a part of the Constitution, the
Preamble has always been given due respect and regard by the courts while
interpreting the Constitution.
5.8 Salient Features of The Constitution
So far you have read about the Preamble to the Indian Constitution. In the subsequent
paragraphs you are going to read about the salient features of the Indian Constitution
which directly and indirectly flow from the Preamble, indicating the faith of framers in the
ideals, objectives and goals as mentioned in our Constitution.
A Written Constitution
The Indian Constitution is mainly a written constitution. A written constitution is framed at
a given time and comes into force or is adopted on a fixed date as a document. As you
have already read that our constitution was framed over a period of 2 years, 11 months
and 18 days, it was adopted on 26th November, 1949 and enforced on January 26, 1950.
Certain conventions have gradually evolved over a period of time which have proved
useful in the working of the constitution. The British Constitution is an example of unwritten
constitution. It is to be noted though, that a written constitution is ‘mainly’ an enacted
document, there could be bodies or institutions which may not be included in the constitution
but form an important part of governance. In Indian context one can mention the Planning
Commission. It is very important body for country’s planning and development. But, the
planning commission was set up in March 1950, not by an Act of Parliament, nor as a Part
of the Constitution of India. It was set up by a cabinet resolution. The Indian constitution
is the lengthiest in the world. The original constitution had 395 Articles and 8 Schedules,
while, the constitution of USA has only 7 Articles.
Intext Question 5.4
Fill in the blanks :
a) A Constitution is a body of ______________ (rules, basic laws, principles).
b) The Constitution of India was enforced on _________________ (August 15, 1947,
November 26, 1949, January 26, 1950)
MODULE - 2
Notes
52
Political Science
Aspects of the
Constitution of India
c) The original Indian Constitution consisted of _______________ Articles. (495, 395,
295)
d) The constitution of India was adopted by ______________. (Constitution Assembly,
Committee, State assembly)
A Combination of Rigidity and Flexibility
The Indian Constitution is a unique example of combination of rigidity and flexibility. A
constitution may be called rigid or flexible on the basis of its amending procedure. In a rigid
constitution, amendment of the constitution is not easy. The Constitutions of USA,
Switzerland and Australia are considered rigid constitutions. While, the British Constitution
is considered flexible because amendment procedure is easy and simple.
The Constitution of India provides for three categories of amendments. In the first category,
amendment can be done by the two houses of Parliament simple majority of the members
present and voting of before sending it for the President’s assent. In the second category
amendments require a special majority. Such an amendment can be passed by each House
of Parliament by a majority of the total members of that House as well as by the 2/3
rd
majority of the members present and voting in each house of Parliament and send to the
President for his assent which cannot be denied. In the third category besides the special
majority mentioned in the second category, the same has to be approved also by at least
50% of the State legislatures. Thus, you see that the Indian Constitution provides for the
type of amendments ranging from simple to most difficult procedure depending on the
nature of the amendment.
Federal Polity
India has adopted a federal structure. In a federation there are two distinct levels of
governments. There is one government for the whole country which is called the Union or
Central Government. Also there is government for each Unit/State. The United States of
America is a federation whereas the United Kingdom (Britain) has a unitary form of
government. In a unitary structure there is only one government for the whole country and
the power is centralised.
The Constitution of India does not use the term ‘federal state’. It says that India is a
‘Union of States’. There is a distribution of powers between the Union/Central Government
and the State Governments. Since India is a federation, such distribution of functions
becomes necessary. There are three lists of powers such as Union List, State List and the
Concurrent List. These lists have been explained in Lesson 8 in detail. On the basic of this
distribution, India may be called a federal system.
The supremacy of the judiciary is an essential feature of a federation so that the constitution
could be interpreted impartially. In India, the Supreme Court has been established to guard
the constitution. However, in case of Indian federalism, more powers have been given to
the Union Government in administrative, legislative, financial and judicial matters. In fact,
The Indian federal set up stands out with certain distinctive unitary features. The makers
of our constitution while providing for two sets of government at the centre and in the
states provided for division of powers favouring the Central Government, appointment of
the Head of the State government by the Central Government, single unified judiciary,
single citizenship indicate the unitary nature of our federalism. Therefore, it is said that
India has a quasi-federal set up.
MODULE - 2
Notes
53
Preamble and The Salient Features of The Constitution of India
Aspects of the
Constitution of India
Quasi Federal: It means a federal set up where despite having two clear sets of
government – central and the states, more powers are given to the Central Government.
Parliamentary Democracy
India has a parliamentary form of democracy. This has been adopted from the British
system. In a parliamentary democracy there is a close relationship between the legislature
and the executive. The Cabinet is selected from among the members of legislature. The
cabinet is responsible to the latter. In fact the Cabinet holds office so long as it enjoys the
confidence of the legislature. In this form of democracy, the Head of the State is nominal.
In India, the President is the Head of the State. Constitutionally the President enjoys
numerous powers but in practice the Council of Ministers headed by the Prime Minister,
which really exercises these powers. The President acts on the advice of the Prime Minister
and the Council of Ministers.
Fundamental Rights and Fundamental Duties
Every human being is entitled to enjoy certain rights which ensure good living. In a
democracy all citizens enjoy equal rights. The Constitution of India guarantees those rights
in the form of Fundamental Rights.
Fundamental Rights are one of the important features of the Indian Constitution. The
Constitution provides for six Fundamental Rights about which you will read in the following
lesson. Fundamental Rights are justiciable and are protected by the judiciary. In case of
violation of any of these rights one can move to the court of law for their protection.
Fundamental Duties were added to our Constitution by the 42
nd
Amendment. It lays down
a list of ten Fundamental Duties for all citizens of India. While the rights are given as
guarantees to the people, the duties are obligations which every citizen is expected to
perform.
Intext Questions 5.5
Fill in the blanks :
(a) India is a _________________ State. (unitary, federal, quasi-federal)
(b) In a parliamentary democracy, the ___________ enjoys the real power (people,
president, cabinet).
(c) The fundamental rights are ________________ (absolute, justiciable, unlimited).
(d) The fundamental duties were included by the ________________ amendment (42
nd
,
44
th
, 46
th
).
Directive Principles of State Policy
The Directive Principles of State Policy which have been adopted from the Irish Constitution,
is another unique feature of the Constitution of India. The Directive Principles were included
in our Constitution in order to provide social and economic justice to our people. Directive
Principles aim at establishing a welfare state in India where there will be no concentration
of wealth in the hands of a few. You will read about these Principles more elaborately in
Lesson 7.
MODULE - 2
Notes
54
Political Science
Aspects of the
Constitution of India
Single Integrated Judicial System
India has a single integrated judicial system. The Supreme Court stands as the apex court
of the judicial system. Below the Supreme Court are the High Courts. The High Courts
control and supervise the lower courts. The Indian judiciary, thus, stands like a pyramid
with the lower courts as the base, High Courts in the middle and the Supreme Court at the
top.
Independence of Judiciary
Indian judiciary is independent an impartial. The Indian judiciary is free from the influence
of the executive and the legislature. The judges are appointed on the basis of their
qualifications and cannot be removed easily. You will read about the independence of the
judiciary in detail in Lesson 12.
Single Citizenship
In a federal state usually the citizens enjoys double citizenship as is the case in the USA.
In India there is only single citizenship. It means that every Indian is a citizen of India,
irrespective of the place of his/her residence or place of birth. He/she is not a citizen of the
Constituent State like Jharkhand, Uttaranchal or Chattisgarh to which he/she may belong
to but remains a citizen of India. All the citizens of India can secure employment anywhere
in the country and enjoy all the rights equally in all the parts of India.
Universal Adult Franchise
Indian democracy functions on the basis of ‘one person one vote’. Every citizen of India
who is 18 years of age or above is entitled to vote in the elections irrespective of caste,
sex, race, religion or status. The Indian Constitution establishes political equality in India
through the method of universal adult franchise.
Emergency Provisions
The Constitution makers also foresaw that there could be situations when the government
could not be run as in ordinary times. To cope with such situations, the Constitution elaborates
on emergency provisions. There are three types of emergency; a) emergency caused by
war, external aggression or armed rebellion; b) emergency arising out of the failure of
constitutional machinery in states; and c) financial emergency. About emergency provisions
you will read in detail in Lesson 9.
Intext Questions 5.6
Fill in the blanks :
a) The United States of America has a system of ______________ citizenship. (single,
double, temporary)
a) Single citizenship means __________________ (a person is a citizen of his own
state only, a person is a citizen of the whole country, a person is a citizen of his native
place).
b) The minimum age of voting in India is ________________ (18 years, 21 years, 25
years).
MODULE - 2
Notes
55
Preamble and The Salient Features of The Constitution of India
Aspects of the
Constitution of India
c) Emergency provisions given in the Constitution can be imposed _______________
(in normal times, abnormal times, any time).
What You Have Learnt
A Constitution symbolises independence of a country. Framework and structure for the
governance of a free country are provided in the Constitution. The Constituent Assembly
prepared the draft of the Constitution by keeping the ‘Objectives Resolution’ as the backdrop
which reflected the aspirations of the people of India.
The framing of the Constitution was completed on November 26, 1949 when the Constituent
Assembly formally adopted the new Constitution. The Constitution came into force with
effect from January 26, 1950.
The Constitution begins with a Preamble which declares India to be a Sovereign, Socialist,
Secular, Democratic, Republic. The Preamble also mentions the goals of securing justice,
liberty and equality for all its citizens and promotion of national unity and integrity on the
basis of fraternity among the people assuring dignity of the individual.
The Constitution of India has several distinctive features. It is the lengthiest Constitution in
the world and it is a combination of rigidity and flexibility. The Constitution provides for a
quasi-federal set up with a strong centre. There is a clear division of powers between the
Centre and the States. The Supreme Court of India, is the apex court of India which will
resolve the disputes between the centre and state or between the states.
India has a parliamentary democracy. The Council of Ministers headed by the Prime
Minister enjoys the real powers and is responsible to the Parliament.
The Indian Constitution provides for Fundamental Rights which are justiciable. Ten
Fundamental Duties have also been added to the Constitution. The Directive Principles of
State Policy give a concrete shape to the welfare concept.
Terminal Exercises
1. What is the importance of the Preamble to the Constitution?
2. Explain the meaning and relevance of Secularism in Indian context.
3. What is the philosophy of the Indian Constitution?
4. Explain the significance of a written Constitution.
5. Distinguish between a rigid and flexible constitution.
6. Explain briefly India as a federal state.
7. Write brief notes on:
a) Independence of Judiciary
b) Integrated judicial system single integrated judicial system
c) Universal Adult Franchise
MODULE - 2
Notes
56
Political Science
Aspects of the
Constitution of India Answers to Intext Questions
5.1
1. (b) 2. (c) 3. (d)
5.2
1. respect for all religions
2. states’ major role in economy
3. January 26, 1950
5.3
1. are entitled to
2. liberty of thought and expression.
5.4
a) Basic Laws
b) January 26, 1950
c) 395 Articals
d) Constitution Assembly
5.5
a. quasi - federal
b. cabinet
c. justifiable
d. 42
nd
Amendment
5.6
a. double
b. a person is a citizen of the whole country
c. 18 years
d. abnormal times
Hints to Terminal Exercises
1. Refer to Section 5.4.
2. Refer to Section 5.5 (Secularism).
3. Refer to Section 5.8
4. Refer to section 5.9 (A written constitution)
MODULE - 2
Notes
57
Preamble and The Salient Features of The Constitution of India
Aspects of the
Constitution of India
5. Refer to Section 5.9 (Combination of rigidity and flexibility).
6. Refer to Section 5.9 (Federal Polity).
7. (a) Refer to Section 5.10 (Independence of Judiciary)
(b) Refer to Section 5.10 (Single Independent Judicial System)
(c) Refer to Section 5.10 (Universal Adult Franchise)
MODULE - 2
Notes
58
Political Science
Aspects of the
Constitution of India
6
FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS
eople in democractic conutries enjoy certain rights, which are protected by judicial
system of the country concerned. Their violation, even by the State, is not allowed by the
courts. India respects the rights of the people, which are listed in our Constitution, under
the heading “Fundamental Rights”. In lesson, a mention has been made of the Fundamental
Rights as one of the salient features of the Constitution. In this lesson, we will discuss in
detail various Fundamental Rights which are incorporated in chapler III of the Constitution.
Objectives
After studying this lesson you will be able to
explain the meaning and importance of Fundamental Rights;
highlight that the dignity of an individual is protected and safe guarded through
Fundamental Rights;
recognise that the enforcement of Fundamental Rights is ensured through High Courts
and the Supreme Court;
explain the Right to Equality;
recognise the rationale behind protective discrimination in favour of Scheduled Castes
and Scheduled Tribes and other backward classes(OBCs);
describe as well as appreciate the Right to Freedom;
recall the safeguards against deprivation of life and personal liberty except according
to the procedure established by law;
explain the Right against Exploitation;
appreciate the Right to Freedom of Religion;
explain Cultural and Educational Rights;
identify the right to Constitutional Remedies;
recall the value of writs that may be issued for the protection of Fundamental Rights;
and
P
MODULE - 2
Notes
59
Fundamental Rights
Aspects of the
Constitution of India
appreciate the Constitutional limitations on the enjoyment of Fundamental Rights.
6.1 Meaning And Importance Of Fundamental Rights
The rights, which are enshrined in the Constitution, are called ‘Fundamental Rights’. These
rights ensure the fullest physical, mental and moral development of every citizen. They
include those basic freedoms and conditions which alone can make life worth living.
Fundamental Rights generate a feeling of security amongst the minorities in the country.
They establish the framework of ‘democratic legitimacy’ for the rule of the majority. No
democracy can function in the absence of basic rights such as freedom of speech and
expression.
Fundamental Rights provide standards of conduct, citizenship, justice and fair play. They
serve as a check on the government. Various social, religious, economic and political
problems in our country make Fundamental Rights important. In our Constitution,
Fundamental Rights are enumerated in Part III from Article 14 to 32. These rights are
justiciable.
Justiciable: Justiciable means that if these rights are violated by the government or
anyone else, the individual has the right to approach the Supreme Court or High
Courts for the protection of his/her Fundamental Rights.
Our Constitution does not permit the legislature and the executive to curb these rights
either by law or by an executive order. The Supreme Court or the High Courts can set
aside any law that is found to be infringing or abridging the Fundamental Rights. You will
read about it in detail in the lesson on ‘Judiciary’. Some of the Fundamental Rights are also
enjoyed by foreigners, for example, the Right to Equality before Law and Right to Freedom
of Religion are enjoyed by both i.e. citizens as well as foreigners. The Fundamental Rights
though justiciable are not absolute. The Constitution empowers the government to impose
certain restrictions on the enjoyment of our rights in the interest of public good.
Seven Fundamental Rights were enshrined in the Constitution of India. However the Right
to Property was removed from the list of Fundamental Rights by the 44
th
Amendment Act
of the Constitution in the year 1976. Since then, it has been made a legal right. There are
now six Fundamental Rights.
The Fundamental Rights are: -
1. Right to Equality
2. Right to Freedom
3. Right against Exploitation
4. Right to Freedom of Religion
5. Cultural and Educational Rights, and
6. Right to Constitutional Remedies.
Recently by the 86
th
Amendment Act, the Right to Education has been included in the list
of Fundamental Rights as part of the Right to Freedom by adding Article 21(A).
We will now study these rights one by one.
MODULE - 2
Notes
60
Political Science
Aspects of the
Constitution of India
Intext Questions 6.1
Fill in the blanks selecting appropriate words/figures given in the brackets.
1. Right to Property was removed from the list of Fundamental Rights by ___________
Amendment Act of the Constitution(42
nd
/43
rd
/44
th
).
2. The Rights are given in Part III of the Constitution and are termed as _____________
Rights (Legal/Economic/Fundamental).
6.2 Right To Equality
Right to Equality means that all citizens enjoy equal privileges and opportunities. It protects
the citizens against any discrimination by the State on the basis of religion, caste, race,
sex, or place of birth. Right to Equality includes five types of equalities.
6.2.1 Equality Before Law
According to the Constitution, “The State shall not deny to any person equality before law
or equal protection of laws within the territory of India”.
‘Equality before law’ means that no person is above law and all are equal before law,
every individual has equal access to the courts. ‘Equal protection of laws’ means that if
two persons belonging to two different communities commit the same crime, both of them
will get the same punishment.
6.2.2 No Discrimnation on Grounds of Religion, Race, Caste,
Sex, Place of Birth or any of them
No citizen shall be denied access to shops, restaurants and places of public entertainment.
Neither shall any one be denied the use of wells, tanks, bathing ghats, roads etc. maintained
wholly or partly out of State funds. However, the State is empowered to make special
provisions for women, children and for the uplift of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes
and other backward classes (OBC’s). The State can reserve seats for these categories in
educational institutions, grant fee concessions or arrange special coaching classes.
6.2.3 Equality Of Opportunity In Matters Of Public Employment
Our Constitution guarantees equality of opportunity in matters relating to employment or
appointment to public services to all citizens. There shall be no discrimination on the basis
of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or residence in matters relating to employment
in public services. Merit will be the basis of employment. However, certain limitations
have been provided to the enjoyment of these rights.
6.2.4 Abolition of Untouchability
The Constitution abolishes untouchability and its practice in any form is forbidden.
Action in the box are considered as offences when committed on the grounds of
untouchability.
MODULE - 2
Notes
61
Fundamental Rights
Aspects of the
Constitution of India
refusing admission to any person to the public institutions;
preventing any person from worshipping in place of public worship;
insulting a member of Scheduled Caste on the grounds of untouchability;
preaching untouchability directly or indirectly.
6.2.5 Abolition of Titles
All titles national or foreign which create artificial distinctions in social status amongst the
people have been abolished.
This provision has been included in the Constitution to do away with the titles like ‘Rai
Sahib’, ‘Rai Bahadur’ have been conferred by the British on a few Indians as a reward
for their effective co-operation to the colonial regime. The practice of conferring titles like
this is against the doctrine of equality before law. To recognise the meritorious service
rendered by individual citizens to the country or mankind, the President of India can confer
civil and military awards on those individuals for their services and achievements such as;
Bharat Ratna, Padma Vibhushan, Padam Sri, Param Veer Chakra, Veer Chakra etc., but
these cannot be used on ‘titles’.
Intext Questions 6.2
Fill in the blanks:
1. Right to Equality aims at an end to......................discrimination (moral/social/political).
2. Right to Equality has............................kinds of equalities (3/4/5).
3. Right to...........................provides for the abolition of untouchability (equality / freedom
/ religion).
4. State can make............................ provisions for women and children against
exploitation (general/special/ordinary).
5. Right to Equality aims at establishing.......................equality. (social/moral/political)
6.3 Right To Freedom
Freedom is the basic characteristic of a true democracy. Our Constitution guarantees to
the citizens of India a set of six freedoms described as the “Right to Freedom”.
6.3.1 Six Fundamental Freedoms
The Constitution guarantees the following six Fundamental Freedoms:
(i) Freedom of speech and expression.
(ii) Freedom to assemble peacefully without arms.
(iii) Freedom to form associations or unions.
(iv) Freedom to move freely throughout the territory of India.
MODULE - 2
Notes
62
Political Science
Aspects of the
Constitution of India
(v) Freedom to reside and settle in any part of the territory of India.
(vi) Freedom to practise any profession or to carry on any occupation, trade or business.
Let us study these freedoms one by one briefly.
(I) Freedom of Speech And Expression
It is an important freedom. This freedom ensures free and frank speech, discussion and
exchange of opinions. It includes the freedom of the press. However these freedom like
freedom of speech and expression are not absolute. The state is empowered to impose
reasonable restrictions on the exercise of this right in the interest of security of the state,
public order, morality etc.
These freedoms can be suspended during the State of National Emergency. As soon
as the State of National Emergency is declared under Article 352, the above-
mentioned freedoms except the right to life and liberty, automatically remain suspended
as long as the State of National Emergency continues. All these freedoms get restored
as soon as the proclamation of National Emergency is lifted.
6.3.2 Protection in Respect of Conviction for An Offence
This Constitutional provision assures protection against arbitrary arrest and excessive
punishment to any person who is alleged to have committed an offence. No person shall
be punished except for the violation of law which is in force when the crime was committed.
An accused cannot be compelled to be a witness against himself/herself.
No person shall be punished for the same offence more than once.
6.3.3 Protection of Life and Personal Liberty
The Constitution lays down that no person shall be deprived of his/her life or personal
liberty except according to the procedure established by law. It guarantees that life or
personal liberty shall not be taken away without the sanction of law. It ensures that no
person can be punished or imprisoned merely at the whims of some authority. He/she may
be punished only for the violation of the law.
6.3.4 Prevention against Arbitrary Arrest and Detention
Our Constitution guarantees certain rights to the arrested person. As per the provision, no
person can be arrested and/or be detained in custody without being informed of the grounds
for detention. He /she has the right to consult and be defended by a lawyer of his/her
choice. The accused has to be produced before the nearest magistrate within a period of
twenty-four hours of arrest.
These safeguards however are not available to foreigners as well as to those citizens
detained under Preventive Detention Act.
Preventive Detention: When the State feels that a person is likely to commit
crime or is a threat to the security of the State, he/she may be detained without trial
for a limited period. However, no person can be kept under detention for more than
three months until permitted by an Advisory Board consisting of persons who are
qualified to be appointed as judges of the High Courts. Such a board is presided over
by a sitting judge of a High Court.
MODULE - 2
Notes
63
Fundamental Rights
Aspects of the
Constitution of India
6.3.5 Right to Education
By the 86
th
Amendment Act of the Constitution a new article 21-A has been added after
Article 21. By this Amendment Act, Right to Education has been made a Fundamental
Right and has been deleted from the list of Directive Principles of State Policy. According
to it, “The State shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age of
six to fourteen in such a manner as the State may by law determine”. It further states that
it is the responsibility of the parent or guardian to provide opportunities for education to
their child or ward between the age of six to fourteen years.
Intext Questions 6.3
Each question has four options. Select the correct option by putting a tick ( )
against one of the options:
1. The number of freedoms guaranteed under the Right to Freedom is :
a) 5
b) 6
c) 7
d) 8
2. Any person arrested by the police shall have to be produced before the nearest
magistrate within a period of :
a) 12 hours
b) 24 hours
c) 36 hours
d) 48 hours
3. A person arrested under Preventive Detention can be kept in Jail without trial for a
maximum period of :
a) three months
b) six months
c) twelve months
d) eighteen months
4. Right to education has been made a Fundamental Right by ………….Amendment
Act of the Constitution (84
th
/86
th
/ 88
th
)
6.4 Right against Explotation
The people of India were exploited not only by the British but also by the money lenders
and zamindars. This system was called forced labour. Right against exploitation prohibits
MODULE - 2
Notes
64
Political Science
Aspects of the
Constitution of India
all forms of forced labour as well as traffic in human beings . The violation of this provision
is an offence punishable under law. The state require citizens services in times of major
calamities such as floods, forestfire, foreign aggression etc.
Our Constitution also provides safeguards for children. It bans the employment of children
below the age of fourteen years in any factory , mine or hazardous occupations.
Traffic in human beings means sale and purchase of human beings as goods and
commodities for immoral purposes such as slavery and prostitution
Intext Question 6.4
Fill in the blanks selecting appropriate words/figures given in the brackets:
1. Employment of children in factories below the age of ——————— is prohibited
by law (14/16/18)
Right to Freedom of Religion
India is a multireligious state. Besides Hindus, there are Muslims, Sikhs, Christians and
many others residing in our country. The Constitution guarantees to every person freedom
of conscience and the right to practice and propagate any religion.
It also permits every religious group, the right to manage its own affairs in matters of
religion. Every religious sect has the right to establish and maintain in stitutions for religious
and charitable purposes. Each religious group is also free to purchase and manage
its movable and immovable property in accordance with law, for the propagation of its
religion.
Our Constitution lays down that no religious education can be imparted in any educational
institution which is wholly maintained out of the state funds. This restriction does not apply
to those educational institutions which are not wholly maintained out of State funds. But,
even in those institutions, no child can be compelled to receive religious instructions against
his /her wishes.
Right to Freedom of Religion is not absolute. It can be restricted on the grounds of public
order, morality and health. The state shall not impose restrictions arbitrarily .
Intext Questions 6.5
Fill in the blanks with the suitable words/figures given in brackets:
1. Religion is the concern of the ——————in a secular state. (Individual /Society/
State)
2. No——————education can be imparted in any educational institution wholly
maintained out of state funds. (moral/religious/none of the two)
MODULE - 2
Notes
65
Fundamental Rights
Aspects of the
Constitution of India
6.6 Cultural and Educational Rights
India is a vast country with diversity of culture, Script and languages. People take pride in
their own language and culture.
Our constitution provides necessary guarantees to preserve maintain and promote their
culture and language. The Constitution allows minorities to establish and maintains
educational institutions of their own. It also provides that the state shall not discriminate
against any educational institution while granting financial aid on the grounds that it is being
run by a minority community.
These rights ensure that minorities will be given assistance by the state in the preservation
of their language and culture. The Ideal before the state is to preserve and propagate the
composite culture of the country.
6.7 Right To Constitutional Remedies
After reading about all the Fundamental Rights, a question may arise in your mind : what
can an individual do if one or more of his or her Fundamental Rights are encroached upon
by the State?
Part III of our Constitution provides for legal remedies for the protection of these rights
against their violation by the State or other institutions/individuals. It entitles the citizens of
India to move the Supreme Court or High Courts for the enforcement of these rights. The
State is forbidden from making any law that may be in conflict with the Fundamentals
Rights.
The Constitution empowers the Supreme Court and High Courts to issue orders or writs
as mentioned in the box given below.
HABEAS CORPUS; (Latin term) It is an order by the court to the state to produce
the person physically before it justify the confinement or release of the person.
MANDAMUS: (Latin term) It is a command or an order from a superior court to a
subordinate court or tribunal or public authority to perform its duty in case it is not
doing it.
PROHIBITION: It is an order issued by the Superior Court to forbid a subordinate
court or tribunal from proceeding with a case which is beyond its jurisdiction.
QUO WARRANTO: This writ is issued to restrain a person from acting in a public
office to which he /she is not entitled.
CERTIORARI : The term certiorari means “to be informed of what is going”. It is
an order to a lower court from a superior court to transfer the matter to it or to any
other court for deciding the matter.
These writs go a long way in protecting the rights of the individuals against encroachment
by the legislature, the executive or any other authority. If the Fundamental Rights are the
cornerstone of our democracy, then the Right to Constitutional Remedies is the soul of the
part III of the Constitutions.
You will read more about these writs in the lesson no.12.
MODULE - 2
Notes
66
Political Science
Aspects of the
Constitution of India
Intext Questions 6.6
Fill in the blanks by selecting appropriate words/figures given in the brackets:
1. Religious or linguistic ——————————————can establish their own
educational institutions. (minorities/majority)
2. In India writs are issued by——————————————Courts. (lower/
subordinate/high)
3. The direction of the court to the detaining authority to produce the person before
it is the writ of———————————— (Mandamus/prohibition/habeas corpus)
4. The writ to restrain a person from acting in a public office to which he /she is not
entitled is known as ——————————————(quo warrato/Certiorari/
Mandamus)
5. An order to a lower court to transfer the case to another court for its proper
consideration in called the writ of ———————————. (Habeas Corpus/
Prohibition/Certiorari)
What You Have Learnt
Fundamental Rights have been incorporated in part III of our Constitution from article 14-
32. These rights protect and safeguard the dignity and status of the citizens. These rights
are justiciable i.e. are enforceable by the court of law. At present there are six Fundamental
Rights. Recently by an Amendment Act of the Constitution, Right to Education has been
added.
These Rights are not absolute, reasonable restrictions can be imposed on these rights in
the interest of peace, national defence, morality, comman good and good relations with
other countries. The first right that comes under Fundamental Rights is the Right to Equality.
Under the Constitution, all are equal before law and the state can not discriminate between
citizens on the basis of religion, race, sex, place of birth or any of them. Uuntouchability
has been abolished and made an offence punishable by law. The state has been forbidden
from conferring honorary titles on citizens that create social disparities.
Right to Freedom has been granted for the all round development of the body, mind and
spirit of all the citizens. It provides six freedoms to citizens. This Right helps protection of
life and personal liberty. It also protects the individual from arbitrary arrest and detention.
Our Constitutions prohibits traffic in human beings and forced labour. Employment of
children below the age of fourteen years in mines, factories and hazardous jobs is banned.
India is a multi religious country. Our Constitution neither promotes nor interferes in their
religious affairs. India believes in secularism. Every religious community is free to establish,
maintain and run its own religious institutions. Every citizen has been granted freedom to
profess and propagate his/her religion.
Cultural and Educational rights provide the right to conserve our culture. Educational
institutions maintained by the state on getting financial aid from the state cannot refuse
MODULE - 2
Notes
67
Fundamental Rights
Aspects of the
Constitution of India
admission to children on the grounds of religion, race, caste, language or any of them. The
minorities have been given the right to establish and manage institutions of their own for
the preservation and propagation of their language and culture. While giving financial aid to
any institution, the state will not discriminate on the basis of religion or language.
Lastly the Constitution guarantees enjoyment of Fundamental Rights by citizens under the
Right to Constitutional Remedies. The Supreme Court and High Courts have been given
powers to issue orders, directions and writs for the enforcement of Fundamental Rights .
Dr. B.R Ambedkar has rightly called the writs as the “ Soul of the part III of the Constitution”:
Terminal Exercises
1. Explain the importance of Fundamental Rights as provided in the Constitution.
2. Mention any three aspects of right to equality.
3. Describe six Fundamental Freedoms granted under the Right to Freedom.
4. Explain the Right against Exploitation.
5. How does the Right to Freedom of Religion help in establishing a secular polity in
India? Explain.
6. What is writ? Who has the power to issue the writs?
7. Explain the statement that Fundamental Rights are justiciable.
8. Describe all the provisions of Right to Freedom.
9. Mention Right to Education as incorporated in the Constitution by 86
th
Amendment
Act.
Answers to Intext Questions
6.1
1. 44
th
2. Fundamental
6.2
1. Social
2. 5
3. Equality
4. Special
5. Social
6.3
1. b
MODULE - 2
Notes
68
Political Science
Aspects of the
Constitution of India
2. b.
3. a
4. 86
th
6.4
1. 14.
6.5
1. Individual
2. Religious
6.6
1. Minority
2. High Court
3. Habeas Corpus
4. Quo-Warranto
5. Certiorari
Hints for Terminal Expercises
1. Refer to section 6.1
2. Refer to section 6.2
3. Refer to section 6.3.1
4. Refer to section 6.4
5. Refer to section 6.5
6. Refer to section 6.7
7. Refer to section 6.1
8. Refer to section 6.3
9. Refer to section 6.3.5
MODULE - 2
Notes
69
Directive Principles of State Policy and Fundamental Duties
Aspects of the
Constitution of India
7
DIRECTIVE PRINCIPLES OF
STATE POLICY AND
FUNDAMENTAL DUTIES
he Constitution of India aims to establish not only political democracy but also socio-
economic justice to the people to establish a welfare state. With this purpose in mind, our
Constitution lays down desirable principle and guidelines in Part IV. These provisions are
known as the Directive Principle of State Policy. In this lesson we will study about Directive
Principles in detail.
It is a well-established saying that rights have significance only when enjoyed in consonance
with the duties. Therefore, the Fundamental Duties were inserted in Article 51A of our
Constitution in 1976 by 42
nd
Amendment Act. In the original Constitution in 1950, there
was no mention of these duties. It was expected that the citizens would fulfil their duties
willingly. We will also learn about these duties in this lesson.
Objectives
After studying this lesson, you will be able to
understand the meaning of Directive Principles of State Policy.
classify the Directive Principles into four groups i.e. economic and social, Gandhian,
administrative and those related to international peace.
recognize the role of Directive Principles in promotion of universalisation of education,
abolition of child labour and improving the status of women.
explain the Directive Principles which provide the framework of welfare state to be
realised in practice in India .
describe that the Directive Principles aim at the establishment of economic and
social democracy.
T
MODULE - 2
Notes
70
Political Science
Aspects of the
Constitution of India
explain the role of government at different levels in implementing these principles.
distinguish between Fundamental Rights and the Directive Principles of State Policy.
appreciate the content of Fundamental Duties.
identify the Fundamental Duties given in the Constitution.
appreciate the importance of Fundamental Duties despite their being non-justiciable.
7.1 Meaning of Directive Principles of State Policy
Directive Principles of State Policy are in the form of instructions/guidelines to the
governments at the center as well as states. Though these principles are non-justiciable,
they are fundamental in the governance of the country. The idea of Directive Principles of
State Policy has been taken from the Irish Republic. They were incorporated in our
Constitution in order to provide economic justice and to avoid concentration of wealth in
the hands of a few people. Therefore, no government can afford to ignore them. They are
infact, the directives to the future governments to incorporate them in the decisions and
policies to be formulated by them.
7.2 Classification Of The Directive Principles
Directive Principles of State Policy have been grouped into four categories. These are: (1)
the economic and social principles, (2) the Gandhian principles, (3) Principles and Policies
relating to international peace and security and (4) miscellaneous.
7.2.1 The economic and social Principles
The state shall endeavour to achieve Social and Economic welfare of the people by:
(1) providing adequate means of livelihood for both men and women.
(2) reorganizing the economic system in a way to avoid concentration of wealth in few
hands.
(3) securing equal pay for equal work for both men and women.
(4) securing suitable employment and healthy working conditions for men, women and
children.
(5) guarding the children against exploitation and moral degradation.
(6) making effective provisions for securing the right to work, education and public
assistance in case of unemployment, old age, sickness and disablement.
(7) making provisions for securing just and humane conditions of work and for maternity
relief.
(8) taking steps to secure the participation of workers in the management of undertakings
etc.
(9) promoting education and economic interests of working sections of the people
especially the SCs and STs.
MODULE - 2
Notes
71
Directive Principles of State Policy and Fundamental Duties
Aspects of the
Constitution of India
(10) securing for all the workers reasonable leisure and cultural opportunities.
(11) making efforts to raise the standard of living and public health.
(12) providing early childhood care and education to all children until they complete the
age of 6 years.
7.2.2 The Gandhian Principles
There are certain principles, based on the ideals advocated by Mahatma Gandhi. These
Principles are as follows : -
(1) To organize village Panchayats.
(2) To promote cottage industries in rural areas.
(3) To prohibit intoxicating drinks and drugs that are injurious to health.
(4) To preserve and improve the breeds of the cattle and prohibit slaughter of cows,
calves and other milch and drought animals.
7.2.3 Directive Principles of State Policy Relating To Interna-
tional Peace And Security :
India should render active cooperation for world peace and security and for that the state
shall endeavour to : -
(1) promote international peace and security.
(2) maintain just and honourable relations between nations.
(3) foster respect for international laws and treaty obligations.
(4) encourage settlements of international disputes by mutual agreement.
7.2.4 Miscellaneous
The Directive Principles in this category call upon the state : -
(1) To secure for all Indians a uniform civil code.
(2) To protect historical monuments.
(3) To save environment from pollution and protect wild life.
(4) To make arrangements for disbursement of free legal justice through suitable
legislation.
Intext Questions 7.1
Identify and place the given Directive Principles in various categories – Gandhian,
Economic and Social, International Peace and Miscellaneous:-
(i) to promote cottage industries.
(ii) to provide adequate means of livelihood for both men and women.
MODULE - 2
Notes
72
Political Science
Aspects of the
Constitution of India
(iii) to provide living wages for working sections.
(iv) to provide early childhood care and education for all children until they complete the
age of 6 years.
(v) to protect historical monuments.
(vi) to bring about reforms to save environment from pollution and protect wild life.
7.3 Directive Principles : Universalisation of Education,
Child Labour and Status of Women
Illiteracy is a big hindrance in the achievement of the goals of socio-economic
justice and welfare state.
7.3.1 Universalisation of Education
The percentage of literate people at the time of independence was only 14%. Our
government realized the importance of education and laid stress on the spread of literacy
among the masses. Efforts have been made by the governments to raise this level. But a
large section of our population is still illiterate. The foremost effort which is required in this
field-is the spread of elementary education and its universalisation. Due to increased number
of drop outs at the primary stage, the number of illiterates between 15 to 35 years of age
has constantly increased.
According to National Policy on Education, 1986, the government has launched National
Literacy Mission, and ‘Operation Blackboard’ for the spread of mass literacy at primary
stage. For those who were deprived of the benefits of education in their childhood, the
government and many voluntary agencies are making special efforts to educate them by
opening night schools and adult literacy centers.
Many distance education programmes through correspondence courses, distance education
and open learning have been started in different states. The National Institute of Open
Schooling and several Open Universities have been set up to attain the goal of universalisation
of education. The Directive Principles providing free and compulsory education for children
upto the age of 14 years has been included through the 86
th
Amendment Act, 2002 in the
list of Fundamental Rights under Article 21A.
Though much has been achieved but still there is a long way to go to accomplish this
objective of a welfare state.
7.3.2 Child Labour
You have already read that one of the Directive Principles provides opportunities and
facilities to children to develop in a healthy manner. You have also read about the Fundamental
Right against Exploitation of children. Employment of children below the age of 14 years
in mines and industries which are hazardous to their health is prohibited.
Inspite of these provisions, the desired results have not been reached. In most of the
cases, the parents attitude is not conducive to the elimination of child labour. They force
MODULE - 2
Notes
73
Directive Principles of State Policy and Fundamental Duties
Aspects of the
Constitution of India
their children to do some sort of work to earn money and contribute to the family income.
Poverty and social stigma are certain constraints on the path of eradication of this problem
apart from the lack of will. All efforts by governments at various levels would prove futile
unless the willingness and awareness to get rid of the social challenge comes from within.
Dr. Abdul Kalam’s ‘dream of developed India 2020’ can be achieved only when the children
who are the future of the country are secured and protected from being exploited. The
children should not be deprived of their right to enjoy childhood and right to education.
7.3.3 Status of Women
Indian society basically is a male dominated society in which father has been head of the
family and mother’s position has been subordinated to him. The position of a woman in
such a system is naturally weak. Women have been suffering a great deal on account of
cruel social customs and religious practices like, pardah and dowry etc.
Women as an integral part, account for 495.74 million and represent 48.3% of the country’s
total population as per 2001 census. Necessity of raising the status and education of women
has already been stressed in our Constitution through Fundamental Rights and various
Directive Principles of State Policy. They have been provided with the right to an adequate
means of livelihood and equal pay with that of men for their work. Women workers have
also been provided for health-care and maternity-relief.
Even in the Fundamental Duties stress has been laid on the duty of every citizen of India
to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women.
Many laws and judicial decisions have restored the dignity of women. To protect their
rights, measures have been taken to give them share in the family property. For their
emancipation from cruel practices like bride burning for dowry, wife beating, sati etc. laws
have been enacted. Prohibition of female infanticide, foetouscide, discrimination against
girl child and child-marriage are some of the other measures that will help in improving the
status of women.
To empower women, reservation of one third of seats through the 73
rd
and 74
th
Amendment
Act, 1991,1992 for them has been made in the Panchayats and Municipalities. There is a
similar proposal for reservation of seats for them in the Parliament and in the state
Legislatures.
Intext Questions 7.2
Choose the correct answers from the alternatives given below:
(a) What was the percentage of literate people at the time of independence?
(i) 12%
(ii) 14%
(iii) 16%
(iv) 18%
(b) When was the National Educational Policy started?
MODULE - 2
Notes
74
Political Science
Aspects of the
Constitution of India
(i) 1984
(ii) 1986
(iii) 1988
(iv) 1989
(c) In which part of the Constitution is the Provision against Exploitation of Children
made?
(i) Fundamental Rights
(ii) Fundamental Duties
(iii) Directive Principles of State Policy
(d) In which of the following Equal Pay for Equal Work for both men and women provide?
(i) Fundamental Rights
(ii) Fundamental Duties
(iii) Directive Principles of State Policy
(e) When was the department of women and child Development set up in India?
(i) 1978
(ii) 1985
(iii) 1992
(iv) 1995
7.4 Critical Analysis Of Directive Principles
Many critics have called these Directive Principles of State Policy as not better than
‘New Year Greetings’. Even the rationale of inserting such high sounding promises has
been questioned. It has been asserted that Directives are in the form of holy wishes
having no legal sanction behind them. Government is not bound to implement them. Critics
point out that they are not formulated keeping the practical aspect these ideals in mind.
Despite all this, it can not be said that these Principles are absolutely useless. They have
their own utility and significance. The Directive Principles are just like a polestar that
provide direction. Their basic aim is to persuade the government to provide social and
economic justice in all spheres of life, keeping in view its limited material resources, at the
earliest possible. Many of them have been implemented very successfully. Actually, no
government can afford to ignore these instructions as they are the mirror of the public
opinion and also reflect the basic spirit of the Preamble of our Constitution. Some of the
steps taken in this direction are being listed below:
(1) Land reforms have been introduced and Jagirdari and Zamindari systems have been
abolished.
MODULE - 2
Notes
75
Directive Principles of State Policy and Fundamental Duties
Aspects of the
Constitution of India
(2) There has been rapid industrialisation and tremendous increase in the agricultural
production through Green Revolution.
(3) National Commission for the Welfare of Women has been established.
(4) Ceiling has been placed on land and property to fix the limit of person’s holdings.
(5) The privy purses of ex-princes have been abolished.
(6) Life Insurance, General Insurance and most of the banks have been nationlised.
(7) In order to reduce economic disparity, Right to Property has been deleted from the
chapter on Fundmental Rights.
(8) Subsidized public distribution schemes have been launched to help the poor people.
(9) The rules require that both men and women are paid equal wages for equal work.
(10) Untouchability has been abolished. Sincere efforts have been made for the upliftment
of the SCs ,STs and of other Backward Classes.
(11) Through 73
rd
and 74
th
Amendments to the constitution, (1991 & 1992 respectively),
Panchayati Raj has been given the constitutional status with more powers.
(12) Small scale and village industries and Khadi Gram Udyog have been encouraged to
bring prosperity to the rural areas.
(13) India has also been actively co-operating with the U.N. to promote international
peace and security.
The above steps on the part of the central and state governments indicate that many
Directive Principles of State Policy have been implemented to lay down the foundations of
a secular, socialist and welfare state. However, still there is a long way to go to achieve all
of them in full.
There are many hindrances in the non-implementation of Directive Principles of State
Policy. The main reasons are – (a) lack of political will on the part of the states, (b) lack of
awareness and organized action on the part of the people and (c) limited material resources.
Intext Questions 7.3
Fill in the blanks with the correct answers :-
(i) A _____________ state takes the responsibility of providing goods and services to
the weaker sections in society. (socialist, charitable, welfare)
(ii) Government has tried to bring about ____________ distribution of wealth (equal,
unequal, equitable)
(iii) The ____________ system has been abolished all over India. (capitalist, zamindari,
caste)
(iv) Khadi and village Industries Board has been set up to promote ___________ industries
(small, medium, cottage)
MODULE - 2
Notes
76
Political Science
Aspects of the
Constitution of India
(v) Panchayati Raj institutions were given constitutional status by ____________
Amendment Act. (72
nd
, 73
rd
, 71
st
)
7.5 Distinction between Fundamental Rights and Directive
Principles
Now that you know about Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles of State Policy,
which are playing an important role in the establishment of the political and socio-economic
society in India, it is important for you to learn about the distinction between the two. The
Fundamental Rights are claims of the citizens recognized by the state. They are in the
nature of denial of certain authority to the government. They are, therefore, negative in
nature. The Directive Principles are like positive directions that the government at all
levels must follow to contribute to the establishment social and economic democracy in
India.
Another point of difference as mentioned earlier is that while the Fundamental Rights are
justiciable and are enforceable by the court of law, the Directive Principles are non-
justiciable. In other words, the Supreme Court and the High Courts have the powers to
issue orders or writs for enforcement of Fundamental Rights. The Directive Principles of
State Policy, on the other hand, confer no legal rights and create no legal remedies. This
should not lead us to conclude that the Directive Principles are inferior or subordinate to
the Fundamental Rights.
7.5.1 Relationship between Fundamental Rights and
Directive Principles
Inspite of these differences, there is a close relationship between the two. Fundamental
Rights and Directive Principles are complementary and supplementary to each other.
Whereas the Fundamental Rights establish political democracy, the Directive Principles
establish economic and social democracy. No government can afford to ignore them while
formulating its plans and policies as it is responsible for all its actions to the people in
general. Although there is no legal sanction behind these principles, the ultimate sanction
lies with the people. The people with their opinion will never let the ruling party to acquire
power again if it fails to adhere to these guiding principles. Thus, our Constitution aims at
bringing about a synthesis between Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles of state
policy. Together, they form the core of the Constitution.
Intext Questions 7.4
Fill in the blanks:-
(a) The Directive Principles are _________ in nature. (negative, positive, natural)
(b) The Fundamental Rights aim at the development of every _________. (family, group,
individual)
(c) The Directive Principles are meant to establish ___________ democracy. (political,
cultural, socio-economic)
(d) The Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles have _________ relationship with
each other. (close, indirect)
MODULE - 2
Notes
77
Directive Principles of State Policy and Fundamental Duties
Aspects of the
Constitution of India
7.6 Fundamental Duties
Rights and Duties are two sides of a coin. There are no rights without duties, no duties
without rights. In fact, rights are born in a world ofDuties. The original Constitution enforced
in 1950, did not mention Fundamental Duties of the citizens. It was hoped that citizens
would perform their duties willingly. But, 42
nd
Amendment to the Constitution added a new
list of 10 duties in chapter IV under Article 51A of the Constitution.
7.6.1 Duties Enlisted
(i) To abide by the Constitution and respect our National Flag and National Anthem.
(ii) To follow the noble ideals that inspired our national freedom movement.
(iii) To protect the unity and integrity of India.
(iv) To defend the country when the need arises.
(v) To promote harmony and brotherhood among all sections of the people and to respect
the dignity of women.
(vi) To preserve our rich heritage and composite culture.
(vii) To protect and improve our natural environment including forests, rivers, lakes and
wildlife.
(viii) To develop scientific outlook and humanism.
(ix) To protect public property and not to use violence.
(x) To strive for excellence in all spheres of individual and collective activity.
New Addition
(xi) Clasue (K) Art 51A Amendment Act 86th 2002.
(K) “a parent or guardian to provide opportunities for education of his child or as the case
may be ward between the age of six and fourteen years.
Intext Questions 7.5
Write ‘True’ or ‘False’.
(i) The Rights and Duties are the two sides of the same coin. (True/False)
(ii) The Fundamental Rights were there in the original Constitution. (True/False)
(iii) The Fundamental Duties have been mentioned along with the Fundamental Rights.
(True/False)
(iv) There are ten Fundamental Duties now. (True/False)
7.6.2 Nature of Fundamental Duties
Fundamental Duties for citizens are in nature of a code of conduct. A few of these duties
are even vague and unrealistic. The non-justiciable character of these duties make them
MODULE - 2
Notes
78
Political Science
Aspects of the
Constitution of India
less interesting. Moreover, their ambiguous language is another hindrance in their being
obeyed e.g. a citizen does not know how to maintain sovereignty, integrity and glorious
heritage of the country.
There is a lot of truth in the argument of the critics, yet, it would not be proper to call these
duties as only pious declarations.
Intext Questions 7.6
Choose the right answer :-
(i) The Fundamental Duties are justiciable/non-justiciable.
(ii) These Duties are clear/ambiguous.
What You Have Learnt
The Directive Principles of State Policy are included in Part IV of the Constitution. The
framers of the Constitution included them with a special purpose of bringing about social
and economic equality. These principles give directions to the state for making laws and
policies for the collective good of the people. These Principles are non justiciable and are
not enforceable by the Courts of law. But they are nevertheless fundamental to the
governance of country.
For the sake of convenience, they were classified into four categories -
(1) Socio-economic principles
(2) Gandhian
(3) International peace and Security
(4) Miscellaneous
The Directive Principles lay stress on universalisation of education, abolition of child labour
and improvement of the status of women. They provide a framework for establishing
welfare state and achieving economic and social democracy.
There are important differences between the Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles.
The former are justiciable and positive in nature. At the same time, there is close relationship
between the two. They are equally important to bring social and economic democracy in
practice. The Courts have been laying stress on the implementation of Directive Principles.
Rights and Duties are two sides of the same coin. In the interest of the well being and
progress of the society, Rights and Duties must be adhered to equally by all.
Terminal Exercises
Q.1 Examine the nature of Directive Principles of State Policy. What is the sanction
behind them?
Q.2 Discuss the classification of Directive Principles of State Policy.
MODULE - 2
Notes
79
Directive Principles of State Policy and Fundamental Duties
Aspects of the
Constitution of India
Q.3 Analyse how the Directive Principles of state Policy of Universalisation of education
has been implemented?
Q.4 Evaluate the Directive Principles of State Policy on (a) Child Labour and (b) Status
of Women.
Q.5 Examine the role of the state in the implementation of Directive Principles of State
Policy.
Q.6 Explain Briefly the interrelationship between Fundamental Rights and Directive
Principles of State Policy.
Q.7 Recall the Fundamental Duties in our Constitution.
Answers to Intext Questions
7.1
(i) Gandhian
(ii) social and economic
(iii) social and economic
(iv) social and economic
(v) miscellaneous
(vi) miscellaneous
7.2
(i) 14%
(ii) 1986
(iii) Fundamental Rights
(iv) Directive Principles
(v) 1985
7.3
(i) welfare
(ii) equitable
(iii) zamindari
(iv) small
(v) 73
rd
7.4
(i) positive
(ii) individual
MODULE - 2
Notes
80
Political Science
Aspects of the
Constitution of India
(iii) economic
(iv) close
7.5
(i) Yes
(ii) No
(iii) Yes
(iv) No
7.6
(i) non-justiciable
(ii) ambiguous
Hints of Terminal Exercise
(1) Refer to section 7.1 and 7.2
(2) Refer to section 7.2
(3) Refer to section 7.3.1
(4) Refer to section 7.3.2 and 7.3.3
(5) Refer to section 7.4
(6) Refer to section 7.5.1
(7) Refer to section 7.6.1
MODULE - 2
Notes
81
Indian Federal System
Aspects of the
Constitution of India
8
INDIAN FEDERAL SYSTEM
n lesson 5 dealing with Salient Features of the constitution of India you have learnt that
the founding fathers of Indian Constitution adopted a Federal structures.
In a federal set up there is a two tier of Government with well assigned powers and
functions. In this system the central government and the governments of the units act
within a well defined sphere, co-ordinate and at the same time act independently. The
federal polity, in other words, provides a constitutional device for bringing unity in diversity
and for the achievement of common national goals.
Objectives
After studying this lesson, you will able to
recall the nature of federalism ;
explain why India adopted a federal set up ;
recognize the federal features of the Indian Constitution ;
recall the unitary features of the Indian federation ;
justify the reason for a strong centre ;
list the process of the central government and those of the governments of the states ;
analyse that India is federal in character and unitary in spirit ;
recognise the legislative, administrative (executive) and the financial relations between
the centre and the units ;
examine how the central government has an edge over the State governments ;
recognise demand for autonomy by various state governments ; and
assess the recommendation of the Sarkaria Commission and the need for co-operation
between the Centre and the States.
8.1 Features of Indian Federalism
The Constitution of India has adopted federal features; though it does not, in fact, claim
that it establishes a federation The question whether the Indian Constitution could be
I
MODULE - 2
Notes
82
Political Science
Aspects of the
Constitution of India
called a federal constitution troubled the minds of the members of the Constituent Assembly.
This question cannot be answered without going into the meaning of federalism and the
essential features that are evident in federal state. Let us examine them and try to find out
whether India is a federation or not.
8.1.1 Written Constitution
The most important feature of a federation is that its constitution should be a written one,
so that both the Union Government as well as the State can refer to that as and when
needed. The Constitution of India is a written document and is the most elaborate
Constitution of the world. It establishes supremacy of the Constitution because both the
union and the states are given powers by the Constitution as to be independent in their
spheres of governance.
8.1.2 Rigid Constitution
The procedure of amending the Constitution in a federal system is normally rigid. Indian
Constitution provides that some amendments require a special majority. Such an amendment
has to be passed by majority of total members of each house of the Parliament as well as
by two-thirds majority of the members present and voting there in. However, in addition to
this process, some amendments must be approved by at least 50% of the states. After this
procedure the amendment is signed by the head of the state i.e; the President. Since in
India important amendments can be amended through this procedure. Hence, Indian
Constitution has been rightly called a rigid constitution.
8.1.3 Division of Powers
In our Constitution, there is a clear division of powers, so that the States and the Centre
are required to enact and legislate within their sphere of activity and none violates its limits
and tries to encroach upon the functions of the other. Our constitution enumerates three
lists, viz. the Union, the State and the Concurrent List. The Union List consists of 97
subjects of national importance such as Defence, Railways, Post and Telegraph, etc. The
State List consists of 66 subjects of local interest such as Public Health, Police etc. The
Concurrent List has 47 subjects important to both the Union and the State. such as Electricity,
Trade Union, Economic and Social Planning, etc.
8.1.4 Supremacy of the Judiciary
Another very important feature of a federation is an independent judiciary to interpret the
Constitution and to maintain its sanctity. The Supreme Court of India has the original
jurisdiction to settle disputes between the Union and the States. It can declare a law as
unconstitutional, if it contravenes any provision of the Constitution.
Intext Questions 8.1
Fill in the blanks :
1. In a federation the powers are ———————————. (with the Centre/ with
the State / Divided between the Centre and the States)
2. Federation has a —————————Constitution. (Written/ unwritten/evolved)
MODULE - 2
Notes
83
Indian Federal System
Aspects of the
Constitution of India
3. In the Indian Constitution there are——————Lists. (2,3,4)
4. 66 subjects are included in the —————————List. (Union/State/Concurrent)
5. The concurrent list consists of ——————subjects. (97,47,66)
8.2 Nature of Indian Federation
In spite of the fact that the Indian Constitution establishes a federal structure, it is indeed
very difficult to put the Indian Constitution in the category of a true federation. The framers
of the Constitution have modified the true nature of Indian federation by incorporating
certain non-federal features in it. These are :
Article I of the Constitution describes India as a ‘Union of States’, which implies two
things: firstly, it is not the result of an agreement among the States and secondly, the States
have no freedom to secede or separate from the Union. Besides, the Constitution of the
Union and the States is a single framework from which neither can get out and within
which they must function. The federation is a union because it is indestructible and helps
to maintain the unity of the country.
The Centre appoints the Governors of the States and may take over the administration of
the State on the recommendations of the Governor or otherwise. In other words, Governor
is the agent of the Centre in the States. The working of Indian federal system clearly
reveals that the Governor has acted more as centre’s representative than as the head of
the State. This enables the Union government to exercise control over the State
administration. The control of the Union over states after the imposition of National
Emergency.
The equality of units in a federation is best guaranteed by their equal representation in the
Uppers House of the federal legislature (Parliament). However, this is not applicable in
case of Indian States. They have unequal representation in the Rajya Sabha. In a true
federation such as that of United State of America every State irrespective of their size in
terms of area or population it sends two representatives in the upper House i.e. Senate.
In addition to all this, all important appointments such as the Chief Election Commissioner,
the Comptroller and Auditor General are made by the Union Government. Besides, there
is single citizenship. There is no provision for separate Constitutions for the states. The
States cannot propose amendments to, the Constitution. As such amendments can only be
made by the Union Parliament.
In order to ensure uniformity of the administrative system and to maintain minimum common
administrative standards without impairing the federal system. All India Services such as
IAS and IPS have been created which are kept under the control of the Union. In financial
matters too, the States depend upon the Union to a great extent. The States do not possess
adequate financial resources to meet their requirements. During Financial Emergency, the
Center exercises full control over the State’s finances.
In case of disturbances in any State or part thereof, the Union Government is empowered
to depute Central Force in the State or to the disturbed part of the State. Also, the Parliament,
by law may increase or decrease the area of any State and may alter its name and
boundaries.
MODULE - 2
Notes
84
Political Science
Aspects of the
Constitution of India
The federal principle envisages a dual system of Courts. But, in India we have unified
Judiciary with the Supreme Court at the apex.
The Constitution of India establishes a strong Centre by assigning all-important subjects to
the Centre as per the Union List. The State Governments have very limited powers.
Financially the States are dependent on the Centre
From the above discussion, it is clear, that there is a tilt in favor of the Centre at the cost of
the States. The States have to work in close co-operation with the Centre. This has lent
support to the contention that the Indian Constitution is federal in form but unitary in spirit.
Constitutional experts have called it ‘semi-federal’ of ‘quasi federal’ system.
Intext Questions 8.2
Fill in the blanks :
1. The ——————————may change the area of a State by law. (Parliament/
State Legislature/Municipal Corporation)
2. All Indian Services are under the control of ——————. (Union Govt/State Govt/
District Govt.)
3. In a federation there is ——————————— representation in the upper house
of Parliament. (unequal/equal/proportional)
8.3 Centre-State Relations
We have seen that the Constitution of India provides for a federal system. Both the Union
and the State are created by the Constitution and derive their respective authority from it.
Yet there is a criticism that India is a federal State but with unitary features. How far is
this criticism valid? To understand this, it is desirable to study the relationship between the
Union and the States.
The relations between the Centre and the states which constitute the core of federalism
have been enumerated in Parts XI and XII of the Constitution under the heads, legislative,
administrative and financial relations. Let us examine them one by one.
8.3.1 Legislative Relations
Regarding legislative relations, there is a threefold division of powers in the Constitution.
We have followed a system in which there are two lists of legislative powers, one for the
Centre and the other for the State, known as the Union List and the State List, respectively.
An additional list called the Concurrent List has also been added.
The Union List which consists of 97 subjects of national interest is the largest of the three
lists. Some of the important subjects included in this list are: Defence, Railways, Post and
Telegraph, Income Tax, Custom Duties, etc. The Parliament has the exclusive power to
enact laws on the subjects included in the Union List for the entire country.
The State List consists of 66 subjects of local interest. Some of the important subjects
included in this List are Trade and Commerce within the State, Police, Fisheries, Forests,
Industries, etc. The State Legislatures have been empowered to make laws on the subjects
included in the State List.
MODULE - 2
Notes
85
Indian Federal System
Aspects of the
Constitution of India
The Concurrent List consists of 47 subjects of common interest to both the Union and the
States. Some of the subjects included in this list are: Stamp Duties, Drugs and Poison,
Electricity, Newspapers etc. Both the Parliament and the State Legislatures can make
laws on the subjects included in this list. But in case of a conflict between the Union and
the State law relating to the same subject, the Union law prevails over the State law.
Power to legislate on all subjects not included in any of the three lists vests with the
Parliament.
Under certain circumstances, the Parliament can legislate on the subjects mentioned in
the State List.
8.3.2 Administrative Relations
The framers of the Indian Constitution never intended to create administrative co-operation
and co-ordination between the centre and states.
The executive power of the State is to be exercised in such a way as to ensure compliance
with the laws made by the Parliament. Further, the Union Executive is empowered to give
directions to a State, if necessary, for the requisite purpose.
The Union Government can issue directions to the States to ensure compliance with the
laws of the Parliament for construction and maintenance of means of communications,
declared to be of national and military importance, and also on the measures for the protection
of Railways. In addition to all this, the Parliament can alone adjudicate on inter-state river
disputes. Also, a provision has been made for constituting an Inter- State Council to advise
the president on inter-state disputes.
Even the State governments may delegate some of its administrative functions relating to
the State subjects, to Union Government for a specified period.
The Constitution of India has certain special provisions to ensure uniformity of the
administrative system. These include the creation of All India Services such as IAS and
IPS and placing members of these services in key administrative positions in the states.
The presence of All India Service Officers further paves way for the Central Government
to exercise its authority and control over the states. The members of these services are
recruited by the Centre but are appointed in the States. No disciplinary action can be taken
against them by the State Governments without the permission of the Centre. The
Constitution also makes provision for the creation of new All India Service by the Parliament
on the recommendation of the Rajya Sabha. The President also puts the entire control of
the state administrative machinery under the control of the Union which you will study in
details while going through the lesson on emergency provisions.
You would also recall that the Union executive is empowered to give such directions to a
state as it may appear necessary for the purpose to the Union Government. The Union
Government has wide powers to issue directions based on the subjective view of the
Union and may, therefore, interfere with the state autonomy in the field of administration.
Ordinarily, the central police force and Army are posted to the states at the request of the
State Government. However, there have been occasions when the CRPF of BSF have
been deployed in states much against the state wishes of the State Government. Thus, the
center plays a very important role in the administrative sphere of activity concerning the
States.
MODULE - 2
Notes
86
Political Science
Aspects of the
Constitution of India
8.3.3 Financial Relations
The distribution of financial resources is especially critical in determining the nature of the
State’s relationship with the Centre. Both the Union and the State have been provided
with independent sources of revenue by the Constitution. The Parliament can levy taxes
on the subjects included in the Union List. The States can levy taxes on the subjects in the
State List. By and large taxes that have an inter-state base are levied by the Centre and
those with a local base by the State.
The Union List consists of items of taxation which fall under the following categories:
(i) Taxes levied by the Union but collected and appropriated by the State such as stamp
duties and duties of excise on medicinal and toilet preparations etc.
(ii) Taxes levied and collected by the Union but assigned to the States viz. railways, sea
or air etc.
(iii) Taxes levied and collected by the Central and may be distributed between the Central
and the states if the Parliament by law so provides, such as union excise duties,
excise on toilet preparations etc.
(iv) Taxes levied and collected and retained by the Centre such as customs, surcharge
on income tax etc.
(v) Taxes levied and collected by the Centre and distributed between the union and the
states such as taxes other than agriculture etc.
It is clear that in the financial sphere too the Centre is better equipped. The Centre can
exercise control over the state finances and grants-in-aid both general and special to meet
the expenditure on developmental schemes. During financial emergency, the President
has the power to suspend the provisions regarding division of taxes between the Centre
and the State. He can also impose other restrictions on the expenses of the State.
State plans are framed within the priorities of the central plan and they are executed with
the approval of the Planning Commission. Further, the States have to carry out the centre-
sponsored schemes for which the Centre gives grants and the conditions under which
these are to be made. The Planning Commission has created an over-centralized planning
system. No initiative is left to the states and the centrally formulated schemes have been
inappropriately and unimaginatively imposed upon them.
Intext Questions 8.3
Fill in the blanks :
1. The Union List consists of ——————————subjects. (97/66/47)
2. Post and Telegraph is subjects in the —————————————List. (Union/
State/Concurrent)
3. The ————————————can legislate on subjects in the State List when
there is President’s rule. (State Legislature/Parliament/Both of them)
4. Trade and Commerce is a subject with—————————List. (Union/State/
Concurrent)
MODULE - 2
Notes
87
Indian Federal System
Aspects of the
Constitution of India
8.4 Demand for Greater Autonomy for the States
The founding fathers of the Indian Constitution were deeply concerned about ensuring the
unity and integrity of the country. They were aware of the forces of disruption and disunity
working within the country. These dangers at the time of independence could be handled
only by a strong government at the Centre.
Therefore, the framers of the Constitution assigned a predominant role to the Centre. At
the same time they made provisions for the establishment of a co-operative federalism.
The working of the Indian federation during the last five decades clearly shows that the
relations between the Centre and the States have not always been cordial.
The administrative Reforms Commission and several other Commissions were appointed
by the Government of India from time to time to regulate Centre State relations. The
Union Government appointed Sarkaria Commission to suggest ways and means to improve
Centre-State relations.
The recommendations of the Sarkaria Commission assume importance so as to evolve an
appropriate policy in the areas of legislative, administrative and financial relations. It has
not suggested wholesole structural changes in the fundamental fabric of the Constitution.
It felt that federalism is more a functional arrangement for co-operative action than a
static institutional concept. The Commission strongly recommended the establishment of
permanent Inter-State Council. In addition, it desired that both the Centre and the States
should have the concern for the development of backward territory or areas. If the economic
development of these backward regions are undertaken in a planned manner, the separatist
tendencies will be automatically controlled. Differences between the Union and the States
should be resolved by mutual consultation. It has taken a favourable view on the demand
of the States to provide more financial resources at their disposal. In order to improve
Centre-State relations in the country, it has suggested economic liberalization and suitable
amendments to the Constitution.
Intext Questions 8.4
Fill in the blanks :
1. Proposal for amendment to the Constitution can be initiated only by _____________
government.
2. The Indian Constitution is _________________ federal.
3. States are demanding ___________________ autonomy.
4. —————————commission has submitted its report relating to centre-state
relation.
What You Have Learnt
In a federal system of government there is a need for clear cut division of power between
the Union and States. This also requires a written and rigid constitution and an independent
MODULE - 2
Notes
88
Political Science
Aspects of the
Constitution of India
judiciary to decide disputes between the Union and the States. Though the Indian Constitution
has all such features of a federal state, it is indeed difficult to put the Indian Constitution in
the category of true federations.
The framers of the Constitution have incorporated certain non federal features in it such
as single citizenship, single judiciary, a strong centre, appointment of the Governor by the
President, unequal of representation in the Rajya Sabha and so on. All these indicate a tilt
towards strong centre. The states have to work in close co-operation with the centre. The
constitution is federal in form but unitary in spirit. The study of Center-State relationship in
legislative, administrative and financial spheres also clearly shows that the Centre is stronger
as compared to the states. The Centre has been assigned a dominant role which became
necessary keeping in view the dangers to the unity and integrity of the nation. Therefore,
there are provisions for a co- operative federalism.
The working of the Indian Constitution over the year indicates that relations between the
center and the States have not remained very co-ordinal. The states have started demanding
more autonomy. Various commissions have been appointed by the Government of India to
review the centre- state relations. The Sarkaria Commission examined the problem and
recomended changes in the area of federal, legislative, administrative and financial relations.
Terminal Exercises
1. Discuss the unitary feature of the Constitution of India.
2. Write a short note on the legislative relations between the center and the states.
3. Describe the financial relations between the center and states.
4. Explain that the Indian Constitution is federal in form but unitary in spirit.
Answers to Inext Questions
8.1
Q.1. Divided between the center and the states
Q.2. Wriiten
Q.3. 3
Q.4. State
Q.5. 47
8.2
Q.1. Parliament
Q.2. Union Government
Q.3 Unequal
MODULE - 2
Notes
89
Indian Federal System
Aspects of the
Constitution of India
8.3
Q.1. 97
Q.2. Union
Q.3. Parliament
Q.4. State
8.4
(1) Central
(2) quasi
(3) Greater
(4) Sarkaria
Hints of Terminal Exercises
1. Refer to Section 8.1
2. Refer to Section 8.2.1
3. Refer to Section 8.2.3
4. Refer to Section 8.1
MODULE - 2
Notes
90
Political Science
Aspects of the
Constitution of India
9
EMERGENCY PROVISIONS
ou have read in the preceding lesson that the Constitution of India is federal in nature
having a unitary bias. On the one hand, it has all the characteristic features of a federation,
while, on the other hand the Centre is more powerful than the States.
When the Constitution of India was being drafted, India was passing through a period of
stress and strain. Partition of the country, communal riots and the problem concerning the
merger of princely states including Kashmir. Thus, the Constitution-makers thought to
equip the Central Government with the necessary authority, so that, in the hour of emergency,
when the security and stability of the country is threatened by internal and external threats.
Therefore, some emergency provisions were made in Constitution to safeguard and protect
the security, integrity and stability of the country and effective functioning of State
Governments.
Objectives
After studying this lesson, you will be able to
recognise that the Union Government has no option except to assume extraordinary
powers in emergencies;
identify the situations in which the President can proclaim a state of National
Emergency under Article 352;
describe the various effects of National Emergency relating to the executive,
legislative, and financial matters, with special reference to the fundamental Rights;
cite examples of National Emergencies proclaimed in the country with their duration
and effect;
describe the circumstances in which the President can make a proclamation under
Article 356 imposing President’s Rule in a state;
cite a few examples when such proclamations were made due to the breakdown of
constitutional machinery;
recall that imposition of President’s Rule has often been controversial in the context
of smooth Centre – State relations;
Y
MODULE - 2
Notes
91
Emergency Provisions
Aspects of the
Constitution of India
describe the circumstances under which Financial Emergency can be proclaimed
under Article 360;
explain the role of Parliament during Financial Emergency; and
describe the effects of Financial Emergency.
9.1 Emergency Caused by War, External Aggression etc.
Provisions have been made in the Constitution for dealing with extraordinary situations
that may threaten the peace, security, stability and governance of the country or a part
thereof. There are three types of extraordinary or crisis situations that are envisaged.
First, when there is a war or external aggression has been committed or there is threat of
the same, or if internal disturbances amounting to armed rebellion take place; second,
when it becomes impossible for the government of a State to be carried on in accordance
with the Constitution; and third, if the credit or financial stability of the country is threatened.
In each case the President may issue a proclamation with varying consequences. In this
section we will discuss the emergency caused by war etc., popularly known as the national
emergency.
9.1.1 Proclamation of National Emergency (Article 352)
The Constitution of India has provided for imposition of emergency caused by war, external
aggression or internal rebellion. This is described as the National Emergency. This type of
emergency can be declared by the President of India if he is satisfied that the situation is
very grave and the security of India or any part thereof is threatened or is likely to be
threatened either (i) by war or external aggression or (ii) by armed rebellion within the
country. The President can issue such a proclamation even on the ground of threat of war
or aggression. According to the 44
th
Amendment of the Constitution, the President can
declare such an emergency only if the Cabinet recommends in writing to do so.
Such a proclamation of emergency has to be approved by both the Houses of Parliament
by absolute majority of the total membership of the Houses as well as 2/3 majority of
members present and voting within one month, otherwise the proclamation ceases to operate.
In case the Lok Sabha stands dissolved at the time of proclamation of emergency or is not
in session, it has to be approved by the Rajya Sabha within one month and later on by the
Lok Sabha also within one month of the start of its next session. Once approved by the
Parliament, the emergency remains in force for a period of six months from the date of
proclamation. In case it is to be extended beyond six months, another prior resolution has
to be passed by the Parliament. In this way, such emergency continues indefinitely. But if
the situation improves the emergency can be revoked by another proclamation by the
President of India.
The 44
th
Amendment of the Constitution provides that ten per cent or more members of
the Lok Sabha can requisition a meeting of the Lok Sabha and in that meeting, it can
disapprove or revoke the emergency by a simple majority. In such a case emergency will
immediately become inoperative.
National Emergency has been declared in our country three times so far. For the first time,
emergency was declared on 26 October 1962 after China attacked our borders in the
North East. This National Emergency lasted till 10 January 1968, long after the hostilities
ceased.
MODULE - 2
Notes
92
Political Science
Aspects of the
Constitution of India
For the second time, it was declared on 3 December 1971 in the wake of the second India-
Pakistan War and was lifted on 21 March 1977. While the second emergency, on the basis
of external aggression, was in operation, third National Emergency (called internal
emergency) was imposed on 25 June 1975. This emergency was declared on the ground
of ‘internal disturbances’. Internal disturbances justified impositin of the emergency despite
the fact that the government was already armed with the powers provided during the
second National Emergency of 1971 which was still in operation.
9.1.2 Effects of National Emergency
The declaration of National Emergency has far-reaching effects both on the rights of
individuals and the autonomy of the states in the following manner :
(i) The most significant effect is that the federal form of the Constitution changes into
unitary. The authority of the Centre increases and the Parliament assumes the power
to make laws for the entire country or any part thereof, even in respect of subjects
mentioned in the State List.
(ii) The President of India can issue directions to the states as to the manner in which
the executive power of the states is to be exercised.
(iii) During this period, the Lok Sabha can extend its tenure by a period of one year at a
time. But the same cannot be extended beyond six months after the proclamation
ceases to operate. The tenure of State Assemblies can also be extended in the same
manner.
(iv) During emergency, the President is empowered to modify the provisions regarding
distribution of revenues between the Union and the States.
(v) The Fundamental Rights under Article 19 about which you have already learnt are
automatically suspended and this suspension continues till the end of the emergency.
But according to the 44
th
Amendment, Freedoms listed in Article 19 can be suspended
only in case of proclamation on the ground of war or external aggression.
From the above discussion, it becomes quite clear that emergency not only suspends the
autonomy of the States but also converts the federal structure of India into a unitary one.
Still it is considered necessary as it equips the Union Government with vast powers to
cope up with the abnormal situations. The exigencies of the situation prevailing in the
period 1975-77 necessitated certain changes in the Constituion reagarding emergency
provisions. Therefore, the 44th amendment was passed on 30th April 1979 to strengthen
the democratic features of the Indian Constituion and to protect citizens’ rights even during
the national emergency.
Intext Questions 9.1
Fill in the blanks :
1. Proclamation of National Emergency gives enlarged powers to the
__________________. (Union Government, President, Supreme Court)
MODULE - 2
Notes
93
Emergency Provisions
Aspects of the
Constitution of India
2. National Emergency can be declared under Article _______________. (232, 352,
360)
3. During this period of National Emergency Lok Sabha can extend its term by
____________ at a time. (one year, three years, five years)
4. During the period of National Emergency, the Right to _____________ can be
restricted. (Equality, Freedom, Constitutional Remedies)
5. On 25 June 1975, National Emergency was declared on the ground of
______________. (external aggression, internal disturbances, financial crisis)
6. The President can declare National Emergency only if _____________.
(a) The Prime Minister gives written advice.
(b) The Cabinet recommends in writing.
(c) He himself is otherwise satisfied.
7. Once approved by the Parliament, the National Emergency ordinarily remains in
force for a period of ________________. (six months, 1 year, 2 years).
9.2 Emergency due to Failure of Constitutional
Machinery in a State
It is the duty of the Union Government to ensure that governance of a State is carried on
in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution. Under Article 356, the President
may issue a proclamation to impose emergency in a state if he is satisfied on receipt of a
report from the Governor of the State, or otherwise, that a situation has arisen under
which the Government of the State cannot be carried on smoothly. In such a situation,
proclamation of emergency by the President is called ‘proclamation on account of the
failure (or breakdown) of constitutional machinery.’ In popular language it is called the
President’s Rule.
Like National Emergency, such a proclamation must also be placed before both the Houses
of Parliament for approval. In this case approval must be given within two months, otherwise
the proclamation ceases to operate. If approved by the Parliament, the proclamation remains
valid for six months at a time. It can be extended for another six months but not beyond
one year. However, emergency in a State can be extended beyond one year if
(a) a National Emergency is already in operation; or if
(b) the Election Commission certifies that the election to the State Assembly cannot be
held.
This type of emergency has been imposed in most of the States at one time or the other for
a number of times. It was in 1951 that this type of emergency was imposed for the first
time in the Punjab State. In 1957, the Kerala State was put under the President’s Rule.
There have been many cases of misuse of ‘constitutional breakdown’. For example, in
1977 when Janata Party came into power at the Centre, the Congress Party was almost
wiped out in North Indian States. On this excuse, Desai Government at the Centre dismissed
nine State governments where Congress was still in power. This action of Morarji Desai’s
MODULE - 2
Notes
94
Political Science
Aspects of the
Constitution of India
Janata Government was strongly criticised by the Congress and others. But, when in 1980
(after Janata Government had lost power) Congress came back to power at the Centre
under Mrs.Gandhi’s leadership and dismissed all the then Janata Party State Governments.
In both cases there was no failure of Constitutional machinery, but actions were taken only
on political grounds.
In 1986, emergency was imposed in Jammu and Kashmir due to terrorism and insurgency.
In all, there are more than hundred times that emergency has been imposed in various
States for one reason or the other. However, after 1995 the use of this provision has rarely
been made.
9.2.1 Effects of Imposition of President’s Rule in a State
The declaration of emergency due to the breakdown of Constitutional machinery in a
State has the following effects:
(i) The President can assume to himself all or any of the functions of the State
Government or he may vest all or any of those functions with the Governor or any
other executive authority.
(ii) The President may dissolve the State Legislative Assembly or put it under suspension.
He may authorise the Parliament to make laws on behalf of the State Legislature.
(iii) The President can make any other incidental or consequential provision necessary to
give effect to the object of proclamation.
The way President’s Rule was imposed on various occasions has raised many questions.
At times the situation really demanded it. But at other times, President’s Rule was imposed
purely on political grounds to topple the ministry formed by a party different from the one
at the Centre, even if that particular party enjoyed majority in the Legislative Assembly.
Suspending or dissolving assemblies and not giving a chance to the other political parties to
form governments in states has been due to partisan consideration of the Union Government,
for which Article 356 has been clearly misused.
In view of the above facts, Article 356 has become very controversial. In spite of the
safeguards provided by the 44
th
Amendment Act, this provision has been alleged to be
misused by the Union Government. That is why, there is a demand either for its deletion or
making provision in the Constitution to restrict the misuse of this Article. The Sarkaria
Commission which was appointed to review the Centre–State relations also recommended
that Article 356 should be used only as a last resort. The Commission also suggested that
the State Legislative Assembly should not be dissolved unless the proclamation is approved
by the Parliament. It further suggested that all possibilities of forming an alternative
government should be fully explored before the Centre imposes emergency in a State on
grounds of breakdown of Constitutional machinery. The Supreme Court held in the Bommai
case that the Assembly may not be dissolved till the Proclamation is approved by the
Parliament. On a few occasions such as when Gujral Government recommended use of
Article 356 in Uttar Pradesh, the President returned the recommendation for reconsideration.
The Union Government took the hint and dropped the proposal.
MODULE - 2
Notes
95
Emergency Provisions
Aspects of the
Constitution of India
Intext Questions 9.2
Fill in the blanks :
1. The proclamation of emergency due to the breakdown of Constitutional machinery
in a State is covered under Article ____________ (352, 356, 360)
2. The imposition of President’s Rule in a State can continue for ________ months
without the approval of the Parliament. (one, two, six)
3. President’s Rule in a State can be extended upto a maximum period of
________________ . ( 1 year, 2 years, 3 years)
4. The declaration of emergency due to the failure of Constitutional machinery in a
State is made on the advice of the ____________ . (Chief Minister, Speaker of
Legislative Assembly, Governor)
5. The Parliament can approve the imposition of President’s Rule in a State for a period
of __________________ at a time. (three months, six months, nine months)
9.3 Financial Emergency
The third type of Emergency is Financial Emergency provided under Article 360. It provides
that if the President is satisfied that the financial stability or credit of India or any of its part
is in danger, he may declare a state of Financial Emergency. Like the other two types of
emergencies, it has also to be approved by the Parliament. It must be approved by both
Houses of Parliament within two months. Financial Emergency can operate as long as the
situation demands and may be revoked by a subsequent proclamation.
9.3.1 Effects of Financial Emergency
The proclamation of Financial Emergency may have the following consequences:
(a) The Union Government may give direction to any of the States regarding financial
matters.
(b) The President may ask the States to reduce the salaries and allowances of all or any
class of persons in government service.
(c) The President may ask the States to reserve all the money bills for the consideration
of the Parliament after they have been passed by the State Legislature.
(d) The President may also give directions for the reduction of salaries and allowances
of the Central Government employees including the Judges of the Supreme Court
and the High Courts.
So far, fortunately, financial emergency has never been proclaimed.
Intext Questions 9.3
1. Article ____________ covers the Financial Emergency provisions. (352, 356, 360)
2. Financial Emergency has been imposed in our country only ______________. (once,
twice, never)
MODULE - 2
Notes
96
Political Science
Aspects of the
Constitution of India
3. Financial Emergency can be imposed for a period of ___________ at a time. ( two
months, six months, desired length).
4. Financial Emergency has to be passed by the Parliament within _____________.
(Two months, four months, six months)
5. Under Financial Emergency, the President may give directions to reduce the salaries
and allowances of ___________________. (Union Government employees, State
Government employees, All government functionaries including judges.)
What You Have Learnt
According to the Indian Constitution, the President has been given extraordinary powers
to deal with certain abnormal situations in order to protect the security, integrity and stability
of the country. For this purpose, there are three types of emergencies which can be
proclaimed by the President of India on the written advice of the Union Cabinet. These
three types of emergencies are :
(a) National emergency (Article 352).
(b) Emergency due to the breakdown of constitutional machinery in a State (Article
356).
(c) Financial emergency (Article 360).
National emergency under Article 352 has been declared three times so far. Twice it was
imposed due to the external aggression once by China and another time by Pakistan,
whereas it was declared only once on the basis of the fear of internal disturbances. This
emergency was imposed on 25 June 1975. Emergency on account of failure of Constitutional
machinery has been declared in most of the States some time or the other. But Financial
Emergency has not been declared so far.
Emergency, when imposed, affects the Fundamental Rights of the citizens. It also affects
the autonomy of the State Governments. The powers of the Union Government increase
and it can make laws even on the subjects included in the State List. The Centre gives
directions to the State Governments. Practically speaking, the federal nature of the
Constitution changes into a unitary form. So much so that when the proclamation of national
emergency is in operation, some of the Fundamental Rights guaranteed by the Constitution
remain suspended.
The second type of emergency under Article 356 is the most frequently imposed emergency.
Under this, a State is put under the President’s Rule if the elected representatives fail to
form or run the government in a State according to the Constitution of India. This is the
most misused form of emergency which has been vehemently criticised by many.
The third type of emergency is Financial Emergency which has not been declared so far.
During this type of emergency, the President of India may give directions to the Union as
well as State Governments to reduce the salaries and allowances of their employees
including the judges. The purpose of declaring this type of emergency is to solve the
financial crises.
MODULE - 2
Notes
97
Emergency Provisions
Aspects of the
Constitution of India
The proclamation of each type of emergency is made by the President on the written
advice of the Union Cabinet. Such a proclamation has to be approved by both the Houses
of Parliament within one month in case of National Emergency and within two months in
case of the remaining two types of emergencies, from the date of imposition of such
emergency. The Proclamation of national emergency as well as the imposition of President’s
Rule, if approved by the Parliament, will continue to be in operation for six months from
the date of proclamation. In case it is to be extended beyond six months, a subsequent prior
resolution has to be passed by the Parliament to this effect. In case of Financial Emergency
once proclaimed, it continues to operate as long as it is required.
The Emergency Provisions provide the President with sweeping powers to deal with abnormal
and extraordinary situations. Any misuse of these powers can easily lead to subversion of
democracy. But the actual working of the Constitution for more than five decades has
demonstrated that emergency powers were generally used in the interest of the country
barring a few cases where emergency was imposed due to political considerations. In spite
of misuse of emergency provisions in some of the States, there is a broad consensus that
emergency provisions still have a role to play under the conditions prevailing in India.
Terminal Exercises
1. Describe briefly the emergency provisions contained in the Constitution of India.
2. How does the imposition of National Emergency affect the life of citizens?
3. Under what conditions can the President’s Rule be imposed in a State?
4. How are the executive and legislative powers of a State exercised during the President’s
Rule?
5. Mention the effects of Financial Emergency.
Answers to Intext Questions
9.1
1. Union Government
2. 352
3. one year.
4. Freedom
5. internal disturbances.
6. Cabinet recommends in writing.
7. 6 months.
9.2
1. Article 356.
2. 2 months.
MODULE - 2
Notes
98
Political Science
Aspects of the
Constitution of India
3. One year.
4. Governor
5. Six months.
9.3
1. Article 356.
2. never.
3. desired length.
4. Two months.
5. All government functionaries including judges.
Hints for Terminal Exercises
1. Refer to Sections 9.1, 9.2 and 9.3.
2. Refer to Effects of National Emergency Section 9.1.2
3. Refer to Section 9.2.
4. Refer to the Effects of Imposition of President’s Rule in a State Section 9.2.2.
5. Refer to Section 9.3.
MODULE - 3
Notes
99
Union Executive
Structure of Government
10
UNION EXECUTIVE
ndia is a democratic republic with a parliamentary form of government. The government
at the Central level is called ‘Union Government’ and at the State level it is known as
‘State Government’. The Union Government has three organs – the Executive, the
Legislature and the Judiciary. The President, the Prime Minister and his Council of Ministers
collectively constitute the Union Executive.
In this lesson you will read how the Union Executive is constituted and what functions
does it perform.
Objectives
After studying this lesson, you will be able to
distinguish between the nominal and real executive in a parliamentary democracy;
recall that India is a republic with an elected head of state;
describe the qualifications and method of election of the President of India.
explain the executive, legislative, financial and judicial powers of the President;
explain the position of the President;
describe the role of the Vice-President in the Indian Political System;
describe how the Prime Minister is appointed and how his/her Council of Ministers is
constituted;
explain the powers and functions of the Prime Minister and his/her Council of
Ministers;
analyse the meaning and implications of the individual and collective responsibility.
10.1 The President
We have already read that India is a sovereign democratic republic. The President of
India who is head of State, is indirectly elected.
I
MODULE - 3
Notes
100
Political Science
Structure of Government Qualifications: The qualifications for the office of President are:
(i) should be a citizen of India;
(ii) should have completed the age of 35 years;
(iii) should be qualified to be elected as a member of Lok Sabha; and
(iv) should not hold any office of profit i.e. the candidate should not be a government
servant. However the office of the President, the Vice-President, the Governor or
the Minister of the Union or the State is not considered as an office of profit for this
purpose;
The President cannot at the same time be a member of Parliament or of a State
Legislature. If a member of Parliament or State Legislature is elected as President
his/her seat will be deemed to have been vacated on the date, he/she assumes office
as President of India.
10.1.1 Election Procedure
The President is elected by an Electoral College consisting of the elected members of both
Houses of Parliament i.e. Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha and of the State Legislative
Assemblies (Vidhan Sabhas). Nominated members of Parliament and members of State
Legislative Councils are not members of the Electoral College. The election is held by
means of single transferable vote system of proportional representation. The voting is
done by secret ballot.
The framers of the Constitution were keen to obtain parity between the votes of the
elected members of Parliament on one side and elected members of Legislative Assemblies
of all the States on the other. They devised a system to determine the value of vote of each
member of Parliament and Legislative Assembly, so as to ensure equality.
The value of vote of each member of Legislative Assembly of a state is
determined by the formula as given below:-
=
Total population of the State
1000
Number of elected members of State Legislative Assembly
÷
In simple words the total population of the State is divided by the number of elected
members of the State Legislative Assembly, and the quotient is divided by 1000.
Example: Let us suppose that the population of Punjab is 1,35,51,060 and the number of
members of State Vidhan Sabha is 104. The votes which each Legislature is entitled to
cast will be:-

1,35,51, 000
1000
104
÷
= 130.29
= 130 [As the remainder .29 is less than 50%, it is ignored]
The value of each vote of a Member of Parliament is determined by adding all the
votes of members of the State Legislative Assemblies including the Legislative Assemblies
MODULE - 3
Notes
101
Union Executive
Structure of Government of Union Territory of Delhi and Pondichery divided by total member of elected members
of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.
=
Total number of votes of Member of all the State Legislative Assemblies
Total number of elected Members of both Houses of Parliament
Example : The votes of all the State Legislative Assemblies are added. Let us suppose
that the total number of votes of all the Legislators is 5,44,971 and the total number of
elected members of Parliament is 776. Then the number of votes of each member of
Parliament will be
=
5, 44, 971
776
= 702.28
= 702
At both the stages if the remainder is less than 50% of the divides, it is ignored. But when
the remainder is 50% or more, one vote is added to the quotient.
Single Transferable Vote System: The election of the President is held through single
transferable vote system of proportional representation. Under this system names of all
the candidates are listed on the ballot paper and the elector gives them numbers according
to his/her preference. Every voter may mark on the ballot paper as many preferences as
there are candidates. Thus the elector shall place the figure 1 opposite the name of the
candidate whom he/she chooses for first preference and may mark as many preferences
as he/she wishes by putting the figures 2,3,4 and so on against the names of other candidates.
The ballot becomes invalid if first preference is marked against more than one candidate
or if the first preference is not marked at all.
Counting of Votes and Declaration of Result
Members of State Legislative Assemblies cast their votes in States Capitals, while Members
of Parliament cast their votes in Delhi in the States Capitals. Counting of votes is done at
New Delhi. First preference votes of all the candidates are sorted out and counted. To be
declared elected a candidate must get more than 50% of the total valid votes polled. This
is known as Quota. The Quota is determined by totalling the total number of votes polled
divided by the number of candidates to be elected plus one. In this case, since only the
President is to be elected, so division is done by 1+1. One (01) is added to the quotient to
make it more than 50%.
Quota =
Total number of votes polled
1
1 1
+
+
At the first count only first preference votes are counted. If any of the candidates reaches
the quota, he/she is declared elected. In case no candidate reaches the quota, then the 2
nd
preference votes of the candidate getting the least number of first preference votes are
transferred to other candidates. Thus the candidate getting the least number of votes is
eliminated. If after counting, a candidate reaches quota, he/she is declared elected as the
President. In case no candidate reaches quota, even at this stage, then the votes of next
candidate getting the least number of votes are transferred to the others. It continues till
any one candidate gets the quota of votes.
MODULE - 3
Notes
102
Political Science
Structure of Government
Let us understand it with the following example. Supposing the total number of valid votes
is 20,000 and there are four candidates A, B, C and D. The quota in this case will be
20, 000
1 1 +
+ 1 = 10001.
Let us assume that first preference votes cast in favour of all the four candidates are as
follows:-
A = 9000
B = 2000
C = 4000
D = 5000
As no candidate has reached the quota i.e. 10001, candidate ‘B’ getting the least number
of votes gets eliminated and his votes transferred to the other candidates.
Supposing as a result of transfer of votes ‘A’ gets 1100, ‘C’ gets 500 and ‘D’ 400. Now the
position would be as follows:
A = 9000 + 1100 = 10,100
B = 6000 + 400 = 6400
C = 4000 + 500 = 4500
Since ‘A’ reaches quota he is declared elected as the President.
Before entering upon the office the President has to take an oath of office in the presence
of the Chief Justice of India.
Intext Questions 10.1
Choose the correct answer from the alternatives given below by putting a tick
( ) against it:
1. The minimum age for the office of the President of India is:
a) 21 years
b) 25 years
c) 30 years
d) 35 years
2. The Presidential candidate must have the qualifications required for a member of:
(a) Lok Sabha
(b) Rajya Sabha
(c) Vidhan Parishad
(d) Zila Parishad
MODULE - 3
Notes
103
Union Executive
Structure of Government
3. Members of which of the following House are not members of the electoral College:
(a) Rajya Sabha
(b) Vidhan Sabha
(c) Vidhan Parishad
(d) Lok Sabha
10.2 The President: Tenure and Removal
The President is elected for a term of five years and is eligible for re-election, though a
convention has developed that no President seeks election for the third term. However,
the first President Dr. Rajendra Prasad was elected for two full terms. He/she may resign
before the expiry of his term, or the office of President may fall vacant due to his/her
death. His term of office commences from the date he takes the oath of office.
10.2.1 Privileges and Immunities
The President of India enjoys certain privileges and immunities which include the following:
1. The President is not answerable to any court of law for the exercise of his functions.
2. The President can neither be arrested nor any criminal proceedings be instituted
against him in any court of law during his tenure.
3. The President cannot be asked to be present in any court of law during his tenure.
4. A prior notice of two months time is to be served before instituting a civil case against
him.
10.2.2 Removal of the President
The President can only be removed from office through a process called impeachment.
The Constitution lays down a detailed procedure for the impeachment of the President.
He can only be impeached ‘for violation of the Constitution’. The following procedure is
intentionally kept very difficult so that no President should be removed on flimsy ground.
The resolution to impeach the President can be moved in either House of Parliament.
Such a resolution can be moved only after a notice has been given by at least one-fourth
of the total number of members of the House. Such a resolution charging the President for
violation of the Constitution must be passed by a majority of not less than two-third of the
total membership of that House before it goes to the other House for investigation.
The charges levelled against the President are investigated by the second House. President
has the right to be heard or defended when the charges against him are being investigated.
The President may defend himself in person or through his counsel. If the charges are
accepted by a two-third majority of the total membership of the second House, the
impeachment succeeds. The President thus stands removed from the office from the date
on which the resolution is passed.
This procedure of impeachment is even more difficult than the one adopted in America
where only simple majority is required in the House of Representatives to initiate the
proceedings.
MODULE - 3
Notes
104
Political Science
Structure of Government
IMPEACHMENT: An impeachment is a quasi-judicial procedure leading to the
removal of a high public official, say, the President as in India, on the grounds of the
violation of the Constitution.
10.2.3 Vacancy in the Office of the President
Whenever the office of the President falls vacant either due to death or resignation or
impeachment, the Vice-President officiates for a period not more than six months. The
Constitution has made it obligatory that in such cases (of vacancy in the office of President)
election for a new President must be held within six months. The newly elected President
then holds office for his full term of five years. Thus, when President Fakhruddin Ali
Ahmad died in 1977, Vice-President B. D. Jatti officiated and the new President (Sanjeeva
Reddy) was elected within six months.
In case the President’s office falls vacant and the Vice-President is not available (or Vice-
President acting as President dies or resigns in less than six months), the Chief Justice of
India is required to officiate till the new President is elected. This provision was made in
1969 by the Parliament to enable Chief Justice Hidayatullah to officiate when President
Zakir Hussain had died, and Vice-President V. V. Giri resigned.
If a President is temporarily unable to discharge his duties, due to illness or otherwise, the
Vice-President may discharge the functions of the President without officiating as the
President.
Intext Questions 10.2
Tick ( ) the correct answer from the alternatives given below:
1. The President of India is elected for a term of:
(a) Three years
(b) Four years
(c) Five years
(d) Six years.
2. The proposal of Impeachment of President can be moved in:
(a) Lok Sabha
(b) Rajya Sabha
(c) Vidhan Sabha
(d) Either House of Parliament.
3. Who acts as President when neither the President nor the Vice-President is available?
(a) The Prime Minister
(b) The Chief Justice of India
(c) The Chief Election Commissioner
(d) The Speaker of Lok Sabha
MODULE - 3
Notes
105
Union Executive
Structure of Government
10.3 Powers of The President
The Constitution has vested the President with vast powers. Broadly the powers of the
President can be classified as Executive, Legislative, Financial and Judicial Powers. His
emergency powers are already dealt with in Lesson No. 9.
10.3.1 Executive Powers
The President is head of State and executive powers of the Union have been vested in
him. The President is empowered to exercise these powers either directly or through
officers subordinate to him which means through the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers
also. His executive powers are given below:-
The President appoints the Prime Minister and he appoints other ministers on the
advice of the Prime Minister. He allocates portfolios among the ministers on the
advice of the Prime Minister. He may remove any Minister on the advice of the
Prime Minister.
The President appoints the Chief Justice and other judges of the Supreme Court and High
Courts. However, in all judicial appointments, the Chief Justice of India is consulted. Besides
the President may also consult such other judges of the Supreme Court as the President
may be deemed necessary. While appointing Chief Justice and justices of High Courts the
President has to consult the State Governor also. In the appointment of High Court judges,
the President also consults the Chief Justice of the State. But now in accordance with the
1993 decision of the Supreme Court as re-interpreted in 1999 (see Lesson 12), the President
is bound by the recommendations of a panel of senior most judges of the Supreme Court
in matters of all judicial appointments. This panel headed by the Chief Justice is known as
the collegium of the Supreme Court. The President appoints the Attorney General, the
Comptroller and Auditor General of India, the Chief Election Commissioner and other
Election Commissioners, the Chairman and Members of Union Public Service Commission
(U.P.S.C.). He/she also appoints the Governors of States and Lt. Governors of Union
Territories. All such appointments are made on the advice of the Union Cabinet headed by
the Prime Minister.
The President is the Supreme Commander of the armed forces. As such, the President
makes appointments of Chiefs of Army, Navy, and Air Force. The President can declare
war and make peace. In his/her capacity as head of state, the President conducts the
country’s foreign affairs. The President appoints India’s ambassadors and high
commissioners in other countries; and the President receives foreign ambassadors and
high commissiners. All diplomatic work is conducted in his/her name (by the foreign office
and Indian envoys abroad), and all international treaties are negotiated and concluded in
his/her name.
All laws enacted by the Union Parliament are enforced by him/her. All officials appointed
by him/her (such as Governors and Ambassadors) may be removed or recalled by him/
her, on the advice of the Union Council of Ministers.
All the functions are performed by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister. All
decisions of the Union Government are communicated to him/her by the Prime Minister.
The President can ask the Prime Minister only once to have a recommendation of the
executive reconsidered by the Cabinet. The President can also refer a minister’s decision
to the Cabinet for its consideration. The President cannot seek a second reconsideration.
MODULE - 3
Notes
106
Political Science
Structure of Government
10.3.2 Legislative Powers
The President being an integral part of Parliament enjoys many legislative powers. These
powers are given below:
The President summons, and prorogues the Houses of Parliament. He may summon the
Parliament at least twice a year, and the gap between two sessions cannot be more than
six months. The President has the power to dissolve the Lok Sabha even before the expiry
of its term on the recommendation of the Prime Minister. In normal course he/she dissolves
Lok Sabha after five years. The President nominates twelve members to Rajya Sabha
from amongst persons having special knowledge in the field of literature, science, art and
social service. The President may also nominate two members of Anglo-Indian community
to the Lok Sabha in case that community is not adequately represented in the House. The
President can call a joint sitting of the two Houses of Parliament in case of a disagreement
between Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha on a non-money bill. So far thrice such joint sittings
have been summoned (see Lesson no. 11). The President has the right to address and
send messages to Parliament. The President addresses both Houses of Parliament jointly
at the first session after every general election as well as commencement of the first
session every year. These addresses contain policies of the government of the day.
Every bill passed by Parliament is sent to the President for his/her assent. The President
may give his/her assent, or return it once for the reconsideration of the Parliament. If
passed again the President has to give her assent. Without his/her assent no bill can become
a law. The President may promulgate an ordinance when the Parliament is not in session.
The ordinance so issued has the force of law. The ordinance so promulgated should be laid
before both Houses of Parliament when they reassemble. If it is neither rejected by the
Parliament nor withdrawn by the President, it automatically lapses six weeks after the
commencement of the next session of Parliament. Generally a bill is moved by the
Government to enact a law in place of the ordinance.
10.3.3 Financial Powers
All money bills are introduced in the Lok Sabha only with the prior approval of the President.
The President has the control over Contingency Fund of India. It enables her to advance
money for the purpose of meeting unforeseen expenses. Annual budget and railway budget
are introduced in the Lok Sabha on the recommendation of the President. If the Government
in the middle of the financial year feels that more money is required than estimated in the
annual budget, it can present supplementary demands. Money bills are never returned for
reconsiderations. The President appoints the Finance Commission after every five years.
It makes recommendations to the President on some specific financial matters, especially
the distribution of Central taxes between the Union and the States. The President also
receives the reports of the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India, and has it laid in the
Parliament.
Contingency Fund of India: It is a fund kept by the Union Government to meet
any unforeseen expenditure for which money is immediately needed. The President
has full control over this Fund. The President permits withdrawals from this Fund.
MODULE - 3
Notes
107
Union Executive
Structure of Government
10.3.4 Judicial Powers
You have seen above that the President appoints Chief Justice and other judges of the
Supreme Court. The President also appoints Chief Justices and other judges of the High
Courts. The President appoints law officers of the Union Government including the
Attorney-General of India.
The President, as head of state, can pardon a criminal or reduce the punishment or suspend,
cummute or remit the sentence of a criminal convicted by the Supreme Court or High
Courts for an offence against the federal laws. The President can pardon a person convicted
by a Court Martial. His/her power of pardon includes granting of pardon even to a person
awarded death sentence. But, the President performs this function on the advice of Law
Ministry.
The President enjoys certain immunities. He is above the law and no criminal proceedings
can be initiated against him/her (see section 10.2.1 above).
10.4 Position of the President
The office of the President is of high dignity and eminence, not of real powers. The
powers formally vested in him/her are actually exercised not by his/her, but by the Union
Council of Ministers, in his/her name. If the President tries to act against the wishes of the
ministers, the President may create a constitutional crisis. The President may even face
impeachment and may have to quit. Thus, the President has no alternative but to act in
accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister, who after all is head of the real executive.
The Prime Minister is in regular touch with the President.
The Council of Ministers is responsible to Lok Sabha, and can be removed on its adverse
vote only. In practice the ministers do not hold office during the pleasure of the President.
The Constitution, 42
nd
Amendment Act has made it obligatory for the President to act only
on the advice of the Council of Ministers. The President cannot act independently.
His/her powers are formal. It is the Council of Ministers headed by the Prime Minister
which is the real executive. In accordance with the 44
th
Amendment Act of the Constitution,
the President can send back a bill passed by the Parliament for reconsideration only once.
If the bill is again passed by the Parliament, the President has to give his assent to the bill.
In the Constituent Assembly, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar had rightly said, “The President occupies
the same position as the King in the British Constitution”. But in reality the President of
India is not a mere rubber stamp. The Constitution lays down that the President has to
preserve, protect and defend the Constitution. The President can ask a newly appointed
Prime Minister to seek a vote of confidence in the Lok Sabha within a stipulated period of
time. All the administration of the country is carried on in her name. The President can ask
for any information from any minister. All the decisions of the Cabinet are communicated
to the President. The President is furnished with all the information relating to administration.
It is in this context that the utility of the office of the President comes to be fully realised
when the President gives suggestions, encourages and even warns the government. It is in
this context, the President emerges as an advisor, a friend and even a critic.
By way of conclusion, we may describe the position of the President in the words of Dr.
B.R. Ambedkar. According to him/her, the President is the Head of State but not the
executive. The President represents the nation but does not rule over the nation. The
President is the symbol of nation. His/her place in the administration is that of a ceremonial
head.
MODULE - 3
Notes
108
Political Science
Structure of Government
10.5 The Vice-President
The Constitution of India provides for the office of the Vice-President. The Vice-President
of India is elected indirectly by an electoral college consisting of members of both Houses
of Parliament, on the basis of proportional representation by means of single transferable
vote system. The voting is held by secret ballot. The Vice-President cannot be a member
of either Houses of Parliament, or of a State Legislature. The Vice-President has to
possess the following qualifications:
He/she has to be a citizen of India, who should not be less than 35 years of age, should not
hold any office of profit and should be eligible to be elected as a member of the Rajya
Sabha.
The Vice-President is elected for a term of five years. He/she may resign from the office
of the Vice-President even before the expiry of five years by writing to the President. The
Vice President can be removed before five years if a resolution to this effect is passed by
a majority of members of Rajya Sabha and agreed to by the Lok Sabha.
10.5.1 Functions of the Vice-President
The Vice-President is the ex-officio Chairman of Rajya Sabha which means that whosoever
is the Vice-President, he/she presides over the Rajya Sabha and performs normal duties
of a presiding officer. These include maintenance of order in the House, allowing members
to speak and ask questions, and putting bills and motions to vote. Since the Vice-President
is not a member of the Rajya Sabha, he/she cannot vote in the House. But, in case of a tie
(equality of votes in favour and against a bill), the Vice President exercises his/her casting
vote so that a decision can be reached.
If ever a vacancy arises in the office of President, due to death, resignation or impeachment,
the Vice-President officiates as the President for not more than six months (see above).
During that period, he enjoys all powers of the President, and does not preside over the
House when he officiates as President.
In case the President is temporarily unable to discharge his/her functions, the Vice-President
may be called upon to discharge his/her functions, without becoming officiating President.
Intext Questions 10.3
1. Who is the Supreme Commander of India’s armed forces?
2. On whose recommendations the members of the Council of Ministers are appointed?
3. What is the procedure of removal of the President known as?
4. How many members of the Rajya Sabha are nominated by the President?
5. Who are the electors of the Vice-President of India?
6. Mention one judicial power of the President?
7. What type of bills are invariably introduced in the Lok Sabha with the prior approval
of the President?
MODULE - 3
Notes
109
Union Executive
Structure of Government
10.6 Prime Minister and The Council of Ministers
The executive powers of the President are exercised by the Council of Ministers. The
Constitution provides that “there shall be a Council of Ministers with the Prime Minister at
the head to aid and advise the President in the excercise of his functions”. Here the word
“shall” indicates that the President cannot function without the Council of Ministers. The
President is the constitutional head of State, but the real Head of the government is the
Prime Minister.
10.6.1 Appointment of the Prime Minister
The Prime Minister is appointed by the President but the President does not have freedom
in the selection of the Prime Minister. Normally the President has to invite leader of the
majority party to form the government. In case no single party is in clear majority, the
President invites the person who is likely to command support of two or more parties
which make up majority in the Lok Sabha. Once appointed, the Prime Minister holds
office so long as he/she enjoys the support of the majority of members of Lok Sabha. The
Prime Minister is normally leader of the majority party in Lok Sabha. However, there have
been cases when a member of Rajya Sabha was made the Prime Minister. This happened
when Mrs. Indira Gandhi was first appointed, Prime Minster in 1966, or when I. K. Gujral
became Prime Minister in 1997 or when Rajya Sabha member Dr. Manmohan Singh
became the Prime Minister in 2004. In 1996 H.D. Deve Gowda was not a member of any
House. He later entered the Rajya Sabha.
Members of the Council of Ministers are appointed by the President on the advice of the
Prime Minister. While selecting the ministers, the Prime Minister the PM keeps in mind
that due representation to different regions of the country, to various religious and caste
groups. In a coalition government, the members of coalition parties have to be given due
representation in the Council of Ministers. The Prime Minister decides portfolios of the
Ministers, and can alter these at his will.
In order to be a Minister, a person has to be a member of either of the two Houses of
Parliament. Even a person who is not a member of any of the two Houses can become a
Minister for a period of six months. Within six months the Minister has to get himself/
herself elected to either House of Parliament, failing which he/she ceases to be a Minister.
All the Ministers are collectively as well as individually responsible to the Lok Sabha.
The Council of Ministers consists of two category of ministers. These are: Cabinet Ministers
and Ministers of State. The Cabinet Ministers are usually senior members of the party/
coalition of parties. The Ministers of State come next to Cabinet Ministers. Some of the
Ministers of State have independent charge of a department while other Ministers of State
only assist the Cabinet Ministers. Sometimes even deputy ministers are also appointed to
assist the ministers.
Ministers other than Cabinet Ministers normally do not attend the meetings of the Cabinet.
The Prime Minister presides over the meetings of the Cabinet. All policy matters are
decided by the Cabinet. The Prime Minister has the authority to reshuffle the portfolios of
the Ministers or even ask for their resignation. In case of resignation or death of the Prime
Minister the entire Council of Ministers also goes out of office. This is because the Council
of Ministers is created by the Prime Minister, who also heads it. The entire Council of
Ministers is responsibility to the Lok Sabha (see below 10.8)
MODULE - 3
Notes
110
Political Science
Structure of Government
10.6.2 Powers and Functions of the Prime Minister
The Prime Minister is the most important and powerful functionary of the Union Government.
The President is head of the government and leader of Lok Sabha. The President is
principal advisor to the President, and the country’s visible face and spokesperson in the
international affairs. His/her role is unparalled and the President gives direction to the
governance of the country.
The Prime Minister being the head of the Council of Ministers, selects the Ministers to be
sworn in by the President. The Ministers in fact are chosen by the Prime Minister and
remain Ministers as long as they enjoy the confidence of the Prime Minister. The Prime
Minister distributes portfolios among Ministers. The President can change the portfolios
as and when he desires. The Prime Minister can drop a Minister or ask for his/her
resignation.
The Prime Minister presides over the meetings of the Cabinet and conducts its proceedings.
As head of the Cabinet, he/she largely influences the decisions of the Cabinet. The Prime
Minister co-ordinates the working of various ministers. The President resolves disagreement
if any amongst different Ministers. Prime Minister is the link between the President and
the Cabinet. The decisions of the Cabinet are conveyed to the President by the Prime
Minister. It is he who keeps the President informed of all the policies and decisions of the
Government. No Minister can meet the President without the permission of the Prime
Minister. All important appointments are made by the President on the advice of the Prime
Minister. It is on the advice of the Prime Minister that the President summons and prorogues
the session of the Parliament and even dissolves the Lok Sabha.
The Prime Minister is the “principal spokesman” and defender of the policies of the
Government in the Parliament. When any Minister is unable to defend his/her actions
properly, the Prime Minister comes to the help of that Minister both inside and outside the
Parliament. The Prime Minister is the leader of the nation. The nation looks to his/her for
guidance. At the time of general elections, it is the Prime Minister who seeks mandate of
the people. The Prime Minister plays an important role in the formulation of domestic and
foreign policies. The President represents the country in the world arena, by participating
in the international meetings such as NAM, SAARC and United Nations. All international
agreements and treaties with other countries are concluded with the consent of the Prime
Minister. The President is the Chief spokesperson of the policies of the country.
The Prime Minister has a special status both in the Government and in the Parliament.
This makes him/her the most powerful functionary. His/her position and powers depend
upon his/her personality. A person of the stature of Jawaharlal Nehru or Indira Gandhi, is
always more effective than a person who lacks vision or depends on support from outside
his party. The Prime Minister is not only leader of the Parliament but also leader of the
nation. The Prime Minister has to secure the willing cooperation of all important members
of his/her own party. In a minority government, the Prime Minister has to depend on
outside help that might act as hindrance in his effective role.
10.7 The Council of Ministers and The Cabinet
The terms Council of Ministers and ‘The Cabinet’ are often used as inter-changeable
terms. In reality, they are not. Prior to 44
th
Amendment of the Constitution, the word
‘Cabinet’ was not mentioned in the Constitution. Let us distinguish between the Council of
MODULE - 3
Notes
111
Union Executive
Structure of Government
Ministers and the Cabinet. The main points of difference are: The Council of Ministers
consists of all category of Ministers i.e., Cabinet Ministers and Ministers of State. The
Cabinet on the other hand consists of Senior Ministers only. Its number varies from 15 to
30 while the entire Council of Ministers can consist of even more than 70. The Council of
Ministers as a whole rarely meets. The Cabinet on the other hand meets as frequently as
possible. It is the Cabinet that determines the policies and programmes of the Government
and not the Council of Ministers. Thus, ‘Cabinet is an inner body within the Council of
Ministers’. It acts in the name of the Council of Ministers and exercises all powers on its
behalf.
10.7.1 Powers and Functions of the Cabinet
It has enormous powers and manifold responsibilities. All the executive powers of the
President are exercised by the Cabinet headed by the Prime Minister.
The Cabinet determines and formulates the internal and external policies of the country. It
takes all major decisions regarding defence and security of the country. It has also to
formulate policies so as to provide better living conditions for the people.Cabinet has control
over national finance. The Cabinet is responsible for whole of the expenditure of the
government as well for raising necessary revenues. It is the Cabinet that prepares the text
of President’s address to the Parliament. The Cabinet is also responsible for the issuance
of Ordinances by the President when the Parliament is not in session. The sessions of the
Parliament are convened by the President on the advice of the Cabinet conveyed through
the Prime Minister. The Cabinet prepares the agenda of the sessions of the Parliament.
Intext Questions 10.4
1. The head of the government in India is the ________________ of India. (President
/ Prime Minister / Chief Justice).
2. The portfolios of the Ministers are distributed and reshuffled by the
_____________________. (Prime Minister / President/Vice-President)
3. The meetings of the Cabinet are presided over by the ___________ (Speaker of
Lok Sabha / Prime Minister /President).
4. The Executive Powers of the President are exercised by the ______________.
(Council of Ministers/Prime Minister’s office/Cabinet Secretary).
5. The Lok Sabha can be dissolved by the President on the written request of the
________________ (Cabinet/Rajya Sabha/Supreme Court).
6. The President’s address to the Parliament is prepared by the _______________.
(Vice President/Union Cabinet/Prime Minister’s office).
7. The Council of Ministers is responsible to the ________________. (Lok Sabha/
Rajya Sabha/Parliament).
10.8 Responsibility of The Ministers
We have already read that there is a Council of Ministers, with the Prime Minister as its
head to aid and advise the President. Constitutionally the Ministers hold office during the
MODULE - 3
Notes
112
Political Science
Structure of Government
pleasure of the President. But, in fact, they are responsible to, and removable by the Lok
Sabha. Actually the Constitution has itself declared that the Council of Ministers shall be
responsible to the Lok Sabha (not to both the Houses). Ministerial responsibility is the
essential feature of parliamentary form of government. The principle of ministerial
responsibility has two dimensions: collective responsibility and individual responsibility.
10.8.1 Collective Responsibility
Our Constitution clearly says that “The Council of Ministers shall be collectively responsible
to ‘House of the People’.” It actually means that the Ministers are responsible to the Lok
Sabha not as individuals alone, but collectively also. Collective responsibility has two
implications. Firstly, it means that every member of the Council of ministers accepts
responsibility for each and every decision of the Cabinet. Members of the Council of
Ministers swim and sink together. When a decision has been taken by the Cabinet, every
Minister has to stand by it without any hesitation. If a Minister does not agree with the
Cabinet decision, the only alternative left to him/her is to resign from the Council of Ministers.
The essence of collective responsibility means that, ‘the Minister must vote with the
government, speak in defence of it if the Prime Minister insists, and he/she cannot afterwards
reject criticism of his act, either in Parliament or in the constituencies, on the ground that
he/she did not agree with the decision.’ Secondly, vote of no-confidence against the Prime
Minister is a vote against the whole Council of Ministers. Similarly, adverse vote in the Lok
Sabha on any government bill or budget implies lack of confidence in the entire Council of
Ministers, not only the mover of the bill.
10.8.2 Individual Responsibility
Though the Ministers are collectively responsible to the Lok Sabha, they are also individually
responsible to the Lok Sabha. Individual responsibility is enforced when an action taken by
a Minister without the concurrence of the Cabinet, or the Prime Minister, is criticised and
not approved by the Parliament. Similarly if personal conduct of a Minister is questionable
and unbecoming he may have to resign without affecting the fate of the Government. If a
Minister becomes a liability or embarrassment to the Prime Minister, he may be asked to
quit.
NO-CONFIDENCE MOTION :- It is a motion moved by a member of legislature
expressing no-confidence of the House in the Council of Ministers. If adopted by the
legislature, the Council of Ministers has to resign.
What You Have Learnt
India has adopted parliamentary form of government where the President is the constitutional
head of state. The Council of Ministers headed by the Prime Minister is the real executive.
The President of India is indirectly elected by an Electoral College consisting of elected
members of both Houses of Parliament and the elected members of State Legislative
Assemblies (Vidhan Sabhas) by means of single transferable vote system of proportional
representation. The President is elected through a complicated system which ensures
equal voice (value of votes) of the national Parliament on the one side and all the State
Legislative Assemblies on the other.
The President is elected for a term of five years. The President is eligible for reelection.
MODULE - 3
Notes
113
Union Executive
Structure of Government The President may resign before the expiry of his/her term or can be removed from office
by impeachment.
The President enjoys vast powers. His/her powers can be classified into Legislative,
Executive, Financial and Judicial. But his/her powers are exercised by the Council of
Ministers headed by the Prime Minister. The President enjoys numerous privileges and
immunities, and exerts influence in the field of administration. The President possesses the
right to be informed, to be consulted and to warn. The President is a guide and advisor of
the Council of Ministers. The Prime Minister is the real head of the Government. The
President is appointed by the President. The Prime Minister has to appoint the leader of the
majority party in Lok Sabha or leader of a group of parties as the Prime Minister.
The Council of Ministers headed by the Prime Minister aids and advises the President in
the exercise of his functions. The Council of Ministers consists of two levels of Ministers–
Cabinet Ministers and Ministers of State. The President appoints the Ministers on the
advice of the Prime Minister.
The Prime Minister is the leader of the nation. He/she is responsible for administration of
the country. He/she presides over the meetings of the Cabinet. The Council of Ministers
works under his/her. The President represents the nation at all national and international
forums. The Prime Minister is the link between the President and the Council of Ministers.
He/she supervises and co-ordinates the working of different Ministries. He/she remains in
office as long as he/she enjoys the support of the majority of members in the Lok Sabha. All
important appointments are made by the President on the recommendation of the Prime
Minister.
The Council of Ministers consists of all category of Ministers, while the Cabinet is a smaller
group consisting of senior Ministers. The Council of Ministers as a whole rarely meets. It is
the Cabinet which determines the policies and programmes of the Government. All the
Ministers are collectively as well as individually responsible to the Lok Sabha. The Council
of Ministers can be removed from office by Lok Sabha if a vote of no-confidence is adopted
by it.
The Cabinet formulates the external and internal policies of the government. It coordinates
the working of various departments. It has full control over the national finance. A money
bill can only be introduced in the Lok Sabha by a Minister.
Terminal Exercises
1. Explain the method of election of the President.
2. Describe the qualifications for the office of the President of India. What is his and
how can he be removed from office.
3. Describe the legislative powers of the President of India.
4. Explain the executive powers of the President.
5. Examine the powers and role of the President of India.
6. Describe functions of the Vice-President of India.
7. How is the Prime Minister of India appointed? Explain.
8. Explain the powers, functions and role of the Prime Minister of India.
MODULE - 3
Notes
114
Political Science
Structure of Government
9. Distinguish between the Council of Ministers and the Cabinet.
10. Describe the collective and individual responsibility of the Ministers.
Answers to Intext Questions
10.1
1. 35 years
2. Lok Sabha
3. Vidhan Parishad
10.2
1. Five years
2. Either House of the Parliament
3. The Chief Justice of India
10.3
1. The President
2. The Prime Minister
3. Impeachment
4. Twelve
5. Member of Parliament
6. Power to pardon the criminals
7. Money Bill
10.4
1. Prime Minister
2. Prime Minister
3. Prime Minister
4. Council of Ministers
5. Cabinet
6. Union Cabinet
7. Lok Sabha
Hints for Terminal Exercises
1. Refer to Section 10.1.1
2. Refer to Section 10.1
3. Refer to Section 10.3.2
4. Refer to Section 10.3.1
5. Refer to Sections 10.3 and 10.4
6. Refer to Section 10.5
7. Refer to Section 10.6.1
8. Refer to Section 10.6.2
9. Refer to Section 10.7.1
10. Refer to Section 10.8
MODULE - 3
Notes
115
Parliament of India
Structure of Government
11
PARLIAMENT OF INDIA
ou have read in the preceding lesson that India has a parliamentary form of government
in which the Prime Minister and his Council of Ministers are collectively responsible to the
lower House of the Parliament i.e. Lok Sabha. In a parliamentary form of government the
Parliament is the most important organ. It is the people who elect their representatives to
be members of the Parliament and these representatives legislate and control the executive
on behalf of the people. The Prime Minister and his Council of Ministers remain at the
helm of affairs so long as they enjoy the confidence of Lok Sabha. The Parliament (Lok
Sabha) may dislodge them from power by expressing a no confidence against the Prime
Minister and his Council of Ministers. Thus the Parliament occupies a central position in
our parliamentary system.
Objectives
After studying this lesson, you will be able to
recall that the Parliament of India consists of the President and the two Houses;
Y
A view of Indian Parliament
MODULE - 3
Notes
116
Political Science
Structure of Government describe the composition of the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha;
explain the functions of Indian Parliament;
describe the procedure of lawmaking in the Indian Parliament, and
compare the functions and powers of both the Houses and show that Lok Sabha is
more powerful.
11.1 Composition of the Parliament
The Parliament has two Houses–Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha. Rajya Sabha is upper
House and represents the States of India while the Lok Sabha is lower House. It is also
called popular House because it represents the people of India. The President is an integral
part of the Parliament though he is not a member of the either House. As an integral part
of the Parliament, the President has been assigned certain powers and functions, which
you have read in the last lesson. In this lesson you will study about the two Houses in
details.
11.1.1. Rajya Sabha: Membership and Election
Rajya Sabha or the Upper House of the Parliament is a permanent body as it cannot be
dissolved. The membership of the Rajya Sabha cannot exceed 250. Out of these, the
President nominates 12 members on the basis of their excellence in literature, science, art
and social service and the rest are elected. At present its total membership is 245.
Rajya Sabha is the body representing States in Indian Union. The elected members of the
States’ Legislative Assemblies elect the members of the Rajya Sabha on the basis of
proportional representation through the single transferable vote system. But all the States
do not send equal number of members to the Rajya Sabha. Their representation is decided
on the basis of population of respective States. Thus the bigger State gets bigger
representation and the smaller ones have lesser representation. While the big State like
UP has been assigned 31 seats, the smaller states like Sikkim and Tripura send only one
member each. Delhi Assembly elects three members of Rajya Sabha and Pondichery
sends one member. Other Union Territories are not represented in the Rajya Sabha.
11.1.2 Qualifications
The qualifications for becoming a Rajya Sabha member are as follows:
1. He/she should be a citizen of India and at least 30 years of age.
2. He/she should make an oath or affirmation stating that he will bear true faith and
allegiance to the Constitution of India.
3. Thus according to the Representation of People Act 1951, he/she should be registered
as a voter in the State from which he is seeking election to the Rajya Sabha. But in
2003, two provisions have been made regarding the elections to Rajya Sabha- (i) Any
Indian citizen can contest the Rajya Sabha elections irrespective of the State in which
he resides; (ii) elections are to be conducted through open voting system.
11.1.3 Tenure
Every member of Rajya Sabha enjoys a safe tenure of six years. One-third of its members
MODULE - 3
Notes
117
Parliament of India
Structure of Government retire after every two years. They are entitled to contest again for the membership. But a
member elected against a mid-term vacancy serves the remaining period only. This system
of election ensures continuity in the working of Rajya Sabha.
11.1.4 Officials of Rajya Sabha
The Vice-President of India is the ex-officio Chairman of the Rajya Sabha. He/she presides
over the meetings of Rajya Sabha. In his absence the Deputy Chairman, who is elected by
its members from amongst themselves, presides over the meeting of the House. The
Deputy Chairman can be removed by a majority of all the then members of Rajya Sabha.
But the Chairman (Vice-President) can only be removed from his office by a resolution
passed by a majority of all the then members of Rajya Sabha and agreed to by the Lok
Sabha.
As the Vice-President is an ex-officio Chairman and not a member of Rajya Sabha, he/
she is normally not entitled to vote. He/she can vote only in case of a tie.
Tie means a situation in which there are equal vote cast in favour and against a bill
or resolution. In such a situation the presiding officer may exercise a casting vote in
favour/against to break the tie.
Intext Questions 11.1
1. What can be the maximum strength of Rajya Sabha?
2. How many members the President nominates in Rajya Sabha?
3. Who can vote to elect the members of Rajya Sabha?
4. What is the tenure of a member of Rajya Sabha?
5. What is the minimum age for becoming a member of Rajya Sabha?
6. Who is the ex-officio Chairman of Rajya Sabha?
11.1.5 Membership and Election of the Lok Sabha
Unlike Rajya Sabha, Lok Sabha is not a permanent body. It is elected directly by the
people on the basis of universal adult franchise. It is also called the popular House or
lower House. The maximum permissible membership of Lok Sabha is 550 out of which
530 are directly elected from the States while 20 members are elected from the Union
Territories. Besides, the President may nominate two members from the Anglo-Indian
community if he/she feels that the said community is not adequately represented in the
House.
Certain number of seats have been reserved for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes
in the Lok Sabha. Initially this provision was made for ten years from the commencement
of the Constitution, which has been extended time and again for further ten years by
various constitutional amendments. The 79th Amendment has extended it for sixty years
from the commencement of the Constitution. Reservation of seats for the Scheduled Castes
or Scheduled Tribes means the persons belonging to SC/ST will represent such reserved
seats. That implies that only persons belonging to SC/ST can contest from the reserved
constituencies. But we have joint electorate and all the voters of the reserved constituency
MODULE - 3
Notes
118
Political Science
Structure of Government
vote irrespective of their caste/tribe. There is no separation of voters in terms of caste or
tribe.
The representation to the Lok Sabha is based on population. Therefore UP which is the
most heavily populated State in India sends as many as 80 members while smaller States
like Mizoram, Nagaland and Sikkim send just one representative each to the Lok Sabha.
Seven members represent Delhi.
For the purpose of elections to the Lok Sabha, the States are divided into single member
constituencies on the basis of population.
11.1.6 Qualifications
All the citizens of 18 years of age and above are entitled to vote in the elections to Lok
Sabha subject to the laws made by the Parliament. Any Indian citizen can become a
member of Lok Sabha provided he/she fulfils the following qualifications:
1. He/she should be not less than 25 years of age.
2. He/she should declare through an oath or affirmation that he has true faith and
allegiance in the Constitution and that he will uphold the sovereignty and integrity of
India.
3. He/she must possess such other qualifications as may be laid down by the Parliament
by law. He must be registered as a voter in any constituency in India.
4. Person contesting from the reserved seat should belong to the Scheduled Caste or
Scheduled Tribe as the case may be.
11.1.7 Tenure
The normal term of Lok Sabha is five years. But the President, on the advice of Council of
Ministers, may dissolve it before the expiry of five years. In the case of national emergency,
its term can be extended for one year at a time. But it will not exceed six months after the
emergency is over. On several occasions Lok Sabha was dissolved prior to the end of its
term. For example the 12
th
Lok Sabha elected in 1998 was dissolved in 1999.
11.1.8 Officials of the Lok Sabha
The Speaker and the Deputy Speaker: The presiding officer of Lok Sabha is known
as Speaker. The members of the House elect him. He/she remains the Speaker even after
Lok Sabha is dissolved till the next House elects a new Speaker in his place. In she
absence, a Deputy Speaker who is also elected by the House presides over the meetings.
Both the Speaker as well as the Deputy Speaker can be removed from office by a resolution
of Lok Sabha passed by a majority of all the then members of the House.
Some of the powers and functions of the speaker are given below :
1. The basic function of the Speaker is to preside over the house and conduct the meetings
of the House in orderly manner. No member can speak in the House without she
permission. He/she may ask a member to finish his speech and in case the member
does not obey he/she may order that the speech should not be recorded.
2. All the Bills, reports, motions and resolutions are introduced with Speaker’s permission.
He/she puts the motion or bill to vote. He/she does not participate in the voting but
MODULE - 3
Notes
119
Parliament of India
Structure of Government
when there is a tie i.e. equal number of votes on both sides, he/she can use his casting
vote. But he/she is expected to caste her vote in a manner so that her impartiality and
independence is retained.
3. His/her decisions in all parliamentary matters are final. She also rules on points of
order raised by the members and her decision is final.
4. He/she is the custodian of rights and privileges of the members.
5. He/she disqualifies a member of his/her membership in case of defection. He/she
also accepts the resignation of members and decides about the genuineness of the
resignation.
6. In case of joint sitting of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, the Speaker presides over the
meeting.
Intext Questions 11.2
1. What is the maximum permissible membership of Lok Sabha?
2. Which State sends the maximum number of members to Lok Sabha?
3. How many Anglo-Indian members may be nominated by the President in Lok Sabha?
4. For which section of the society seats are reserved in the Lok Sabha?
5. Who can vote in Lok Sabha elections?
6. Who can dissolve the Lok Sabha?
7. Who elects the Speaker of Lok Sabha?
11.2 Functions of Parliament
The functions and powers of the Indian Parliament can be divided into legislative, executive,
financial and other catagories.
11.2.1 Legislative Functions
Basically the Parliament is a law-making body. In an earlier lesson you have seen that
there is a division of power between the Centre (Union) and the States. There are three
lists – Union List, State List and the Concurrent List. Only Parliament can make laws on
the subjects mentioned in the Union List. You know that the Union List has 97 subjects.
Along with the State Legislatures, the Parliament is empowered to make laws on the
Concurrent List. In case, both the Centre as well as the States make a law on the subject
mentioned in the Concurrent List then the central law prevails upon the state law if there
is a clash between the two. Any subject not mentioned in any list i.e. residuary powers are
vested with the Parliament.
Thus the law making power of the Parliament is very wide. It covers the Union List and
Concurrent List and in certain circumstances even the State List also.
11.2.2 The Executive Functions
In a parliamentary system of government there is a close relationship between the legislature
and the executive. And the executive is responsible to the legislature for all its acts. The
MODULE - 3
Notes
120
Political Science
Structure of Government
Prime Minister and his Council of Ministers are responsible to the Parliament individually
as well as collectively. The Parliament can dislodge a ministry by passing a vote of no-
confidence or by refusing to endorse a confidence motion. In India this has happened
several times. This happened in 1999 when the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Government lost the
confidence motion in the Lok Sabha by just one vote and resigned.
But the no-confidence motion or the confidence motions are the extreme ways of maintaining
the accountability of the Parliament over the executive. They are employed in exceptional
cases. Parliament also maintains its control over executive in a routine manner through
several ways. Some of them are as follows:-
a. The members of Parliament can ask questions and supplementary questions regarding
any matters connected with the affairs of the Central Government. The first hour of
every working day of Parliament relates to the Question Hour in which the Ministers
have to answer the questions raised by the members.
b. If the members are not satisfied with the Government’s answer then they may demand
separate discussion on the subject.
c. The Parliament also exercises control over the executive through several motions.
For example calling attention notice or adjournment motion are such ways by which
some recent matters of urgent public importance are raised. The government always
takes these motions very seriously because the government’s policies are criticized
severely and their likely impact on the electorate whom the government would have
to face ultimately. If the motion is passed then it means that the government is censured.
Censure Motion: This motion implies severe indictment of the government; but
it does not require resignation of the Council of Members.
d. The Lok Sabha can express its lack of confidence in the executive by disapproving
budget or money bill or even an ordinary bill.
11.2.3 The Financial Functions
The Parliament performs important financial functions. It is the custodian of the public
money. It controls the entire purse of the Central Government. No money can be spent
without its approval. This approval may be taken before the actual spending or in rare
cases after the spending. The budget is approved by the Parliament every year.
11.2.4 The Electoral Functions
The elected member of Parliament one members of the Electoral College for Presidential
election. As such, they participate in the election of the President of India. They elect the
Vice-President. The Lok Sabha elects its Speaker and Deputy Speaker and the Rajya
Sabha elects its Deputy Chairman.
11.2.5 Power of Removal
Certain high funtionaries may be removed from office on the initiative of the Parliament.
The President of India may be removed through the process of impeachment (you have
read about it in Lesson No. 10). The judges of Supreme Court and of High Courts can be
removed by an order of the President, which may be issued only if a resolution of their
removal is passed by both Houses of Parliament by special majority (see Lessons 12 and
15).
MODULE - 3
Notes
121
Parliament of India
Structure of Government 11.2.6 Functions Regarding the Amendment of the Constitution
Most of the parts of the Constitution can be amended by the Parliament by special majority.
But certain provisions only be amended by the Parliament with the approval of States.
However India being a federal State, the amending power of the Parliament is highly
limited. The Supreme Court has ruled that the Parliament cannot change the basic structure
of the Constitution. You have already read about the amending procedure in another lesson.
11.2.7 Miscellaneous Functions
Besides the above-mentioned functions, the Parliaments also performs a variety of other
functions. Some of them are as follows: -
a. While it is the power of the President to declare Emergency, the Parliament approves
all such Proclamations of Emergency. Both the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha have to
approve the Proclamation.
b. Parliament may form a new State by separating the territory from any State or by
uniting two or more States. It may also change the boundaries and the name of any
State. In the recent years (2000), new states of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and
Uttarakhand were created.
c. Parliament may admit or establish new States in the Indian Union (Sikkim in 1975).
d. The Parliament can abolish or create Legislative Councils in the States. This is done
only on the request of concerned States Assemblies.
Thus the Indian Parliament, though limited by the federal nature of the political system,
has wide functions to perform. In performing its functions, it has to mirror the aspirations
and needs of the people of India. It also has to function as an agency for resolving socio-
economic or political conflicts in the country. It also helps in building consensus on specific
issues, which are crucial to the nation like foreign policy formulation.
Intext Questions 11.3
1. What is the name of the list on which only the Parliament can make laws?
2. Who makes laws on the subjects mentioned in the State List?
3. How many States can request the Parliament to make law on some subject mentioned
in the State list?
4. Who Can admit a new State in the Indian Union?
11.3 Law-making Procedure in the Parliament
As pointed out earlier basically the Parliament is a law making body. Any proposed law is
introduced in the Parliament as a bill. After being passed by the Parliament and getting the
President’s assent it becomes a law. Now you will study how the law is made by the
Parliament. There are two kinds of bills, which come up before the Parliament:-(i) ordinary
bill and (ii) money bill. Here we shall discuss the legislative procedure in each of these
kinds of bills.
MODULE - 3
Notes
122
Political Science
Structure of Government
11.3.1 Ordinary Bills
Every member of the Parliament has a right to introduce an ordinary bill and from this
point of view, we have two types of bills – government bills and private member’s bills. A
Minister moves a government bill and any bill not moved by a Minister is a Private Member’s
Bill, which means that the bill has been moved by a member of parliament but not a
minister in the Government. The Government bills consume most of the time of the
Parliament. The Bills pass through several stages. : -
(A) With the introduction of the bill, the First Reading of the bill starts. This stage is
simple. The Minister wanting to introduce a bill, informs the presiding officer. He/she
puts the question of introduction to the House. When approved, normally by voice-
vote, the Minister is called upon to introduce the bill.
(B) Second Reading: -This stage is the most vital stage. After general discussion the
House has four options: - (i) it may straightaway take the bill into detailed (clause-
by-clause) consideration or (ii) refer it to a select committee of the House or, (iii)
refers it to the Joint Committee of both the Houses or (iv) circulate it among the
people to elicit public opinion. If the bill is referred to a select committee of the
House or the joint select committee of both the Houses, the concerned committee
examines the bill very minutely. Each and every clause is examined. The committee
may also take the opinion of professionals and legal experts. After due deliberations,
the committee submits its report to the House.
(C) Third Reading:- After the completion of the second reading, the Minister may move
that the bill be passed. At this stage normally no discussion takes place. The members
may oppose or support the adoption of the bill, by a simple majority of members
present and voting.
2. Bill in the other House: -After the bill has been passed by one House, it goes to the
other House. Here also the same procedure of three readings is followed. The
following consequences may follow: -
(A) It may pass it; then the bill is sent to the President for his assent.
(B) It may pass the bill with amendments. The bill will be sent back to the first House. In
such a case, the first House will consider the amendments and if it accepts the
amendments then the bill will be sent to President for his assent. In case the first
House refuses to accept the amendments, then it means there is a deadlock.
(C) It may reject it. It means there is a deadlock. In order to remove the deadlock
between the two Houses, the President may call for a joint sitting of the two Houses.
Such joint sittings are very rare in India and till now only three times such meetings
have taken place. They were convened on the occasion of passage of Dowry
Prohibition Bill 1959, Banking Service Commission (Repeal) Bill, 1978, and Prevention
of Terrorism Bill, 2002.
(D) President’s assent to the Bill:- After being passed by both the Houses or the Joint
Sitting of both Houses, the bill is referred to the President for his assent. The President
also has some options in this regard: - (i) He may give his assent and with his assent,
the bill becomes a law. (ii) He may withhold his assent, but may suggest some changes.
In such a case the bill is sent back to the House from where it had originated. But if
MODULE - 3
Notes
123
Parliament of India
Structure of Government
both the Houses pass the bill again with or without accepting the recommendations
of the President, the President has no option but to give his assent. (iii) In 1986, the
President Giani Zail Singh invented a new option. He neither gave his assent nor he
returned it to the Parliament for reconsideration of the Postal Bill. He sought some
clarifications, which were never provided. The bill thus, lapsed.
11.3.2 Money Bills
The money bills are such bills which deal with money matters like imposition of taxes,
governmental expenditure and borrowings etc. In case there is a dispute as to weather a
bill is a money bill or not, the Speaker’s decision is final. The money bill has to undergo
three readings like an ordinary bill but few considerations are also added here. They are
(I) Money bill can be introduced only in Lok Sabha and not in Rajya Sabha and that too
with the prior approval of and on behalf of the President. (ii) After being passed by the
Lok Sabha, the bill goes to the Rajya Sabha. Rajya Sabha has 14 days at its disposal for
consideration and report. (iii) The Rajya Sabha cannot reject the money bill. It may either
accept it or make recommendations. (iv) In case Rajya Sabha chooses to make
recommendations, the bill will return to Lok Sabha. The Lok Sabha may accept these
recommendations or reject them. In any case the bill will not go back to Rajya Sabha.
Instead it will be sent directly to the President for his assent. (v) If the Rajya Sabha does
not return the bill within 14 days, it will be deemed to have been passed by both the Houses
of the Parliament and sent to the President for his assent.
The bill that deals with the money matters i.e. imposition, abolition, alteration of any
tax or the regulation of the borrowing of money or giving of any guarantee by the
Government of India or amendment of law with respect to any financial obligation
undertaken by the Government of India or related to Consolidated Fund or Contingency
Fund of India, is called a Money Bill.
11.3.3 The Budget
The Budget is an annual financial statement showing expected revenue and expenditure
of public money. It is not a bill. Every year the budget is presented by the Finance Minister
in the Lok Sabha. The budget – making is a big exercise. The Finance Ministry prepares
the budget but it involves the entire government. The budget in India is presented in two
parts- Railway Budget and the General Budget.
(i) Presentation of the Budget: - The railway budget is generally presented by the Railway
minister in the third week of February, while the general budget is presented normally
on the last working day of February. The general budget is presented along with the
speech of the Finance Minister. The budget remains a closely guarded secret till its
presentation. After the speech, the Finance Minister introduces the Finance Bill, which
contains the taxation proposals of the government. The House rises thereafter and
there is no discussion on the day of the presentation of the Budget.
A new system of departmental select committees has been introduced in India since
1993-94. The Lok Sabha sets up committees for all major Ministries and Departments of
Union Government. The select committees consider demand for grants in details and
submit their recommendations to the Lok Sabha. After general discussion on the budget,
the Houses are adjourned for about three weeks. During this period select committees of
Departments of Ministry scrutinise budget demands and may make recommendations.
MODULE - 3
Notes
124
Political Science
Structure of Government
This saves time of the full House. The full Lok Sabha now does not discuss demands for
grants, one by one, in details.
Quorum means the minimum number of members required to be present to enable the
House to meet. This is one-tenth of the total membership of the House. This means the
meeting of the Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha can take place only if one tenth of the total
membership of the House is present.
Intext Questions 11.4
1. What is a Government Bill?
2. What is a Private Member’s Bill?
3. When are the Private Member’s Bills discussed?
4. Which bill cannot be introduced in Rajya Sabha?
5. When is the joint sitting of the two Houses of Parliament held?
6. What constitutes quorum in either House of Parliament?
11.4 Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha – A Comparative Study
You have seen earlier that the two Houses of Parliament differ in their composition. From
the federal point of view the Rajya Sabha represents the States in the Indian Union while
the Lok Sabha is the representative of the Indian people. This is also the reason why the
method of election differs. The members of Legislative Assemblies of the States elect the
members of Rajya Sabha while the people directly participate in the elections to the Lok
Sabha. Rajya Sabha is a permanent House while the Lok Sabha is constituted for a specified
term of five years. From the constitutional point of view, the relationship between the two
Houses can best be studied from three angles which are as follows: -
1. There are certain powers and functions in which Lok Sabha is superior to the Rajya
Sabha. Introduction and adoption of money bills and removal of a cabinet by passing
no confidence motion are two examples relevant here.
2. In certain areas Rajya Sabha has been vested with exclusive powers. It does not
share these powers with the Lok Sabha. For example, it can declare a subject in
state as a matter of national importance and facilitate a central legislation.
3. In several areas, both the Houses enjoy equal powers. The examples are adoption of
bills other than money bills, approval of proclamation of emergency, moving of
adjournment and other types of motions.
Members of both houses of Parliament get Rs. 2 Crore per annum from the Members of
Parliament Local Development Fund. This fund is not directly allotted to the MP but to the
respective district headquarters and the MP can use it for development projects in his
area.
MODULE - 3
Notes
125
Parliament of India
Structure of Government
Intext Questions 11.5
Fill in the blanks:
1. Budget can only be introduced in the________________
2. Only ____________can create a new All-India service
3. Each member of Parliament gets a sum of Rs. _______________ as Local
Davelopment Fund every year.
What You Have Learnt
You have learnt in this lesson that the Parliament is country’s central legislative body. It
has two Houses-Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha and the President is an integral part of the
Parliament. Rajya Sabha is a permanent body, which can never be dissolved. Each member
of Rajya Sabha enjoys a term of six years and one-third of its member retire after every
two years.The Rajya Sabha represents the States in Indian Union. In contrast, the Lok
Sabha or the lower House has a fixed term of five years and the President before the
expiry of stipulated five years can also dissolve it. Members of the Lok Sabha are directly
elected by people on the basis of universal adult franchise. While the Vice-President
chairs the meetings of Rajya Sabha, the Lok Sabha is presided over by the Speaker. You
have read about the powers of the Speaker. You have read that the quorum of both the
Houses is one-tenth of the total membership. Without the quorum, no meeting of the
House/Houses can take place. You have also read in details about the various legislative,
executive, financial, electoral, judicial and miscellaneous functions of the Parliament, and
its law making procedure. Finally, you have been able to compare the two Houses and find
that Lok Sabha is more powerful than Rajya Sabha.
Terminal Exercises
1. Describe the composition of Rajya Sabha and method of election of its members?
2. Describe powers of the Speaker of Lok Sabha?
3. Discuss the functions of Parliament?
4. Describe the law-making procedure in India?
5. Analyse the relationship between the two Houses of the Parliament?
6. Write short notes on the following: -
a. Qualification for membership of Rajya Sabha
b. Second reading
c. The Budget
MODULE - 3
Notes
126
Political Science
Structure of Government
Answers to Intext Questions
11.1
1. 250
2. 12
3. Members of State Assemblies
4. 6 years -- 1/3 entire every 2 years
5. 30 years
6. The Vice-President
11.2
1. 550
2. Uttar Pradesh
3. Two
4. Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes
5. All the Indian citizens of 18 years of age and above
6. President
7. Members of Lok Sabha
11.3
1. Union List
2. State Legislatures
3. Two or more State Legislatures
4. The Parliament
11.4
1. A bill moved by a Minister in the Government is a Government bill.
2. A bill moved by Member of Parliament but not a minister, is called Private member’s
bill.
3. Private Member’s bills are discussed only on Fridays.
4. Money bills cannot be introduced in Rajya Sabha.
5. Joint Sitting of the two Houses is held to remove the deadlock between the two
Houses over a non-money bill.
6. One-tenth of the strength of a House.
MODULE - 3
Notes
127
Parliament of India
Structure of Government 11.5
1. Lok Sabha
2. Rajya Sabha
3. Rs. 2 crore
Hints for Terminal Exercises
1. Refer to Section 11.1.1
2. Refer to Section 11.1.Q
3. Refer to Section 11.2
4. Refer to Section 11.3
5. Refer to Section 11.4
6. Refer to Section (A) 11.1.2
7. Refer to Section (B) 11.3.1
8. Refer to Section (C) 11.3.3
MODULE - 3
Notes
128
Political Science
Structure of Government
12
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
he Supreme Court is the highest court of India. It is at the apex of the Indian judicial
system. In the previous two lessons, you have learnt that the Union legislature, which is
known as Parliament, makes laws for the whole country in respect of the Union and the
Concurrent Lists and the executive comprising the President, Council of Ministers and
bureaucracy enforces them. Judiciary, the third organ of the government, has an equally
important role to play. It settles the disputes, interprets laws, protects fundamental rights
and acts as guardian of the Constitution. In this lesson, you will learn that India has a single
unified and integrated judicial system and that the Supreme Court is the highest court in
India.
Objectives
After studying this lesson, you will be able to
recognise that India has a single integrated and unified judicial system;
describe the composition and organization of the Supreme Court of India;
T
A view of the Supreme Court of India
MODULE - 3
Notes
129
Supreme Court of India
Structure of Government
explain the powers and jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of India;
appreciate the role of the Supreme Court of India as guardian of the Constitution and
protector of Fundamental Rights;
recall that public interest litigation plays an important role in the protection of our
rights.
12.1 Single Unified and Integrated Judicial System
You have already read in the lesson on the Salient Features of the Indian Constitution that
the distinct feature of our judiciary is that it is a single unified integrated judicial system for
the whole country. A single judiciary represents a hierarchy of courts. The Supreme Court
stands at the top of this single integrated judicial system with High Courts at the State
level. Below the High Courts, there are several subordinate courts such as the District
Courts which deal with civil cases and the Session Courts which decide criminal cases.
INDIAN JUDICIAL SYSTEM
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
STATE HIGH COURTS
SUBORDINATE COURTS OR LOWER COURTS
12.2 The Supreme Court
The Supreme Court is the highest judicial authority of India. It consists of the Chief Justice
and 25 other judges. The Parliament may increase the number of judges if it deems
necessary. To begin with, besides the Chief Justice, there were only 7 other judges. The
Parliament has increased the number of judges from time to time. As in 2005, there are 25
judges besides the Chief Justice who is also called the Chief Justice of India.
The Chief Justice and other judges of the Supreme Court are appointed by the President
of India. While appointing the Chief Justice, the President is constitutionally required to
consult such other judges of the Supreme Court as he deems proper, but outgoing Chief
Justice is always consulted. Normally, the senior most judge of the Supreme Court is
appointed as the Chief Justice of India, although there is no constitutional requirement to
do so. While appointing other judges, the President is bound to consult the Chief Justice
and other senior judges, if he deems proper.
Whenever there is vacancy or a likely vacancy in the Supreme Court, the Chief Justice
and four other senior most judges consider various names and recommend the names of
the persons to be appointed as judges of the Supreme Court. This system is based on a
ruling of the Constitutional Bench of a Supreme Court (handed down in 1993 and reinforced
in 1999). Thus, while the Constitution still provides that the President is the appointing
authority of the Supreme Court judges, the ruling of the Supreme Court, has since 1999,
become virtually binding on the President. The power of selection of judges has passed on
to a group of Supreme Court judges, called the Collegium of the Court. The President now
MODULE - 3
Notes
130
Political Science
Structure of Government
performs the formality of appointing the nominee of the Supreme Court, after the Law
Ministry formally recommends these names to him.
12.2.1 Qualifications, Tenure and Removal of Judges
A person is qualified for appointment as a judge only he/she is a citizen of India and if he/
she fulfils one of the following conditions:
a) he/she has been for at least five years a Judge of as High Court or two or more than
two such courts; or
b) he/she has been for at least ten years an advocate of a High Court or of two or more
than two such courts; or
c) he/she is, in the opinion of the President, a distinguished jurist.
The Chief Justice of India and other judges of the Supreme Court hold office till they attain
the age of 65 years. A judge may voluntarily resign before expiry of his term. In exeptional
cases a Supreme Court judge may be removed before the age of retirement, according to
the procedure laid down in the Constitution. Thus a judge of the Supreme Court can be
removed from office by an order of the President passed after an address by each House
of the Parliament supported by a majority of total membership of the House and not less
than two-third majority of the members of the House present and voting, passed in the
same session, has been presented to the President for such removal on the ground of
proved misbehavior or capacity. So far, proceedings for removal were initiated only in one
case against a judge of the Supreme Court. But he/she could not be removed because the
resolution could not be passed by the Parliament. It is clear that Supreme Court judges
enjoy security of tenure, and the executive cannot arbitrarily remove them.
No person who has held office of a judge of the Supreme Court is allowed to plead as an
advocate in any court or before any authority within the territory of India.
The judges of the Supreme Court are paid such salaries as are determined by the Parliament
from time to time.
12.2.2 A Court of Record
The Supreme Court is a Court of Record. It has two implications. All its decisions and
judgments are cited as precedents in all courts of the country. They have the force of law
and are binding on all lower Courts, and indeed the High Courts. As a Court of Record, the
Supreme Court can even send a person to jail who may have committed contempt of the
court.
Intext Questions 12.1
Fill in the blanks :
(i) The judges of the Supreme Court are appointed by the ________________.
(President / Prime Minister / Law Minister)
(ii) The Supreme Court of India consists of the Chief Justice and _________other judges.
(23 / 25 / 27)
MODULE - 3
Notes
131
Supreme Court of India
Structure of Government
(iii) The judges of Supreme Court retire at the age of ______________. (60 / 62 / 65)
(iv) A person who is a distinguished _____________in the opinion of the President may
be appointed as a judge of the Supreme Court. (educationist / jurist / politician)
12.3 Jurisdiction of The Supreme Court
The scope of powers of Supreme Court to hear and decide cases is called its jurisdiction.
The Supreme Court has three types of jurisdictions namely original, appellate and advisory.
Let us now examine the three jurisdictions.
12.3.1 Original Jurisdiction
There are certain cases which fall within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.
It means that all such cases begin or originate in the Supreme Court, only. It also means
that such cases cannot be initiated in any other court. The cases or disputes that come
under the original jurisdiction are given below:
(i) (a) Disputes between the Government of India on the one side and one or more
States on the other side.
(b) Disputes between the Government of India and one or more States on one side
and one or more States on the other side.
(c) Disputes between two or more States.
(ii) The Supreme Court has been invested with special powers in the enforcement of
Fundamental Rights. In this connection, it has the power to issue directions or writs.
(iii) Cases under Public Interests Litigation (PIL) can also be heard directly. (This is an
extra Constituional practice; there is no mention of PIL in the Constitution).
12.3.2 Appellate Jurisdiction
The power of a superior/higher court to hear and decide appeals against the judgment of
a lower court is called appellate jurisdiction. The Supreme Court has vast appellate
jurisdiction. It hears appeals against the judgment of the High Courts. Thus, it is the highest
and the final Court of Appeal. If one of the parties to a dispute is not satisfied with the
decision of the High Court, one can go to the Supreme Court and file an appeal. The
appeals can be filled in Civil, Criminal and Constitutional cases.
(i) Appeals in Civil Cases
Disputes relating to property, marriage, money, contract and service etc are called civil
cases. If a civil case involves a substantial point of law of public importance needing
interpretatation of the Constitution or law, an appeal against the High Court decision can
be made to Supreme Court. Earlier the financial limit of such civil cases was Rs. 20,000/
- but now according to the 30
th
Amendment of 1972, there is no minimum amount for
taking a civil appeal to the Supreme Court. If substantial question of interpretation of law
or Constitution is involved, appeal may be made against the decision of the High Court.
(ii) Appeals in Criminal Cases
An appeal may be brought to the Supreme Court against a High Court decision in a
MODULE - 3
Notes
132
Political Science
Structure of Government
criminal case in a number of situations. Firstly, if a High Court sets aside an appeal or an
order of acquittal passed by a lower court and awards death sentence to the accused, he
may bring an appeal to the Supreme Court by right.
Secondly, appeal can also be made to the Supreme Court if the High Court withdraws a
case from a lower court to itself, declares the accused guilty and awards death sentence.
In this situation also appeals can be made as a matter of right and without certificate from
the High Court.
The appeal in cases other than these two categories may also be brought to the Supreme
Court provided the High Court grants a certificate that the case is fit for appeal to the
Supreme Court.
In case where the High Court refuses to certify a case to be fit for appeal to the Supreme
Court, one may seek special leave to appeal from the Supreme Court itself. The Supreme
Court may grant such a special leave in its discretion but only in rare cases.
(iii) Appeals in Constitutional Cases
A constitutional case is neither a civil dispute, nor concerning a crime. It is a case arising
out of different interpretations of Constitution, mainly regarding the fundamental rights. In
such Constitutional Cases an appeal can be taken to the Supreme Court only if a High
Court certifies that the matter in dispute involves a substantial question of law.
If the High Court denies a certificate of fitness to appeal to the Supreme Court, the
Supreme Court can use its discretion and grant special leave to appeal to itself in any case
it deems fit.
12.3.3 Advisory Jurisdiction
This power implies Court’s right to give advice, if sought. Under advisory jurisdiction, the
President of India may refer any question of law or public importance to Supreme Court
for its advice. But the Supreme Court is not bound to give advice. In case, the advice or
the opinion of the Court is sent to the President, he may or may not accept it. The advice
of the Court is not binding on the President. So far, whenever the Court has given its
advice, the President has always accepted it. The Court refused to give its advice on the
question whether a temple existed at the spot, where Babri Masjid was built at Ayodhya.
12.4 Guardian of The Constitution
The Constitution of India is the supreme law of the land and the Supreme Court is its
interpreter and guardian. It does not allow the executive or the Parliament to violate any
provision of the Constitution. It can also review any action of the Government, which
allegdly violates any provision of the Fundamental Rights. This power of the Supreme
Court is called Judicial Review about which we shall study later. If it finds violation of any
provision of the Constitution, it may declare the concerned law as ultra-vires, or null and
void. It is on the basis of this power of Judicial Review of the Supreme Court that it is
called guardian of the Constitution. It is also called ‘a champion of liberties’ and ‘a watchdog
of democracy’.
In this context the role and the functions of the Supreme Court are wide and comprehensive.
MODULE - 3
Notes
133
Supreme Court of India
Structure of Government
12.4.1 Protector of Fundamental Rights
The Supreme Court has concurrent right with the High Courts to issue directions, orders
and writs for enforcement of fundamental rights. These are in the nature of the writs of
Habeas Corpus, Mandamus, Prohibition, Certiorari and Quo Warranto. These writs
make the Supreme Court a protector and guarantor of fundamental rights. The idea is that
in case of violation of a law or right, the Court may issue directions for compliance with
the Constitution. Thus, the citizens of India are secure as far as fundamental rights are
concerned.
The Supreme Court has the right to declare a law passed by the legislature null and void if
it encroaches upon our fundamental rights. It has rejected many legislations, which violated
fundamental rights. This shows how the Supreme Court has always served as the guardian
of fundamental rights.
Writ: It is an order issued to a lower Court or a functionary of the State to take steps
to restore rights of the people.
12.4.2 Review of Its Own Judgment
If the Supreme Court discovers that there are some new facts or evidences or if it is
satisfied that some mistake or error took place in its previous decision, it has the power to
review the case and alter its previous decisions. This is generally done when a review
petition is filed. Normally, review is done by a bigger bench than the one that originally
decided the case.
Intext Questions 12.2
Fill in the blanks :
i. The dispute between two or more States is brought before the Supreme Court under
its ___________ jurisdiction (original/ appellate/ advisory).
ii. The Supreme Court is _________________ to give advice to the President of
India. (bound/ not bound)
iii. The ultimate power of interpreting the Constitution of India lies with the
______________. (High Court/ Supreme Court/ Sessions Courts)
12.5 Judicial Review
It is a process through which judiciary examines whether a law enacted by a legislature or
an action of the executive is in accordance with the Constitution or not. The power of the
judicial review was first acquired by the Supreme Court of the United States. Now it is
freely exercised by the Supreme Court of India and in many other countries. Our High
Courts also exercise this power.
Judicial Review does not mean that every law passed by the legislature is taken up by the
Supreme Court for review. It only means that the Court will review the law as and when
it gets an opportunity. This is possible in two ways. First, the Court can review the law if
its validity is challenged. The Supreme Court or High Court may get an opportunity to
MODULE - 3
Notes
134
Political Science
Structure of Government review a law in another situation also. If a person or institution feels that his/her rights are
violated, or a certain benefit due to him under a law is being denied, the Court while
examining such a petition may come to the conclusion that the law, under which relief is
sought, is itself unconstitutional. Therefore, relief may not be granted.
In a democratic country like India the power of Judicial Review is an important guarantee
of the rights of the people. Besides, the Supreme Court has been interpreting various
provisions of the Constitution. Its rulings are treated as law of the land.
Let us now see how the Supreme Court has played its role as a custodian of the civil
liberties and in particular of the fundamental rights.
The Right to Equality is an important right, which ensures equality before law. The Right
to Equality also means absence of special privileges and inequality of treatment. So, the
Supreme Court in the name of Protective Discrimination has justified the benefits or
concessions in the form of reservations or relaxation of eligibility conditions.
The Right to Freedom has given various kinds of freedoms to all of us. But the freedom of
press was not mentioned in the Constitution. It was decided by the Supreme Court that
freedom of press as a right is implied in right to freedom of expression. Thus, the Court
expanded the right to freedom.
The Supreme Court has regarded the Right to Know as an important right to be able to
take part in the participatory process of development and democracy. The Court had ruled
that the Right to life in, Artile 21 implies and includes the right to education and clean
environment also.
Regarding the delay in deciding the cases, the Supreme Court has held that delay in trial
constitutes denial of justice. It has also laid down that speedy trial, release on bail of under
trials, free legal aid to the poor and accused are also the fundamental rights.
The Supreme Court has used its power of judicial review and given various historic decisions
to safeguard the rights of the individuals. It has stood guard of linguistic rights of minorities,
religious rights of the people, welfare of the workers and daily wage earners.
If has also taken action to protect bonded labour, prevent exploitation of women, children
and deprived sections of society.
No doubt, the Supreme Court through its power of judicial review has guarded our rights
in various walks of life. The Supreme Court has given momentous decisions. Through,
what is called “judicial activism”, the Court has given such rulings as compulsory use of
CNG fuel for the use of public transport vehicles in Delhi so that pollution could be brought
under control. Similarly, for the protection of lives of people, it has made the use of helmets
compulsory for two-wheeler users, and even the pillion riders.
The power of judicial review is an important guarantee of the rights of the people. It does
not allow any violation of the Constitution. It has given several new interpretations to the
Constitutional provisions. Thus, it has protected as well as expanded the Constitution.
12.6 Public Interest Litigation (PIL)
Earlier, the judiciary, including Supreme Court, entertained litigation only from those parties
that were affected directly or indirectly by it. It heard and decided cases only under its
MODULE - 3
Notes
135
Supreme Court of India
Structure of Government
original and appllate jurisdiction. But subsequently, the Court permitted cases on the ground
of public interest litigation. It means that even people, who are not directly involved in the
case, may bring to the notice of the Court matters of public interest. It is the privilege of
the Court to entertain the application for public interest litigation (PIL). The concept of
PIL was introduced by Justice P.N. Bhagwati.
PIL is important because justice is now easily available to the poor and the weaker sections
of society. The Supreme Court on the basis of letters received from journalists, lawyers
and social workers and even on the basis of newspaper reports has taken up a number of
matters of public interest. Let us take some examples to know how PIL has helped the
people to get justice.
Under PIL, the rights of under trials held under illegal detention have been restored. The
Supreme Court ordered the release of many detenues without trial on the ground of their
personal liberty, which could not be curbed due to judicial or bureaucratic inefficiency.
The Supreme Court has also taken up steps to free bonded labourers, tribals, slum dwellers,
women in rescue homes, children in juvenile homes, child labour etc.
In case of environmental pollution, the Supreme Court has ordered closure of a few factories
near Kanpur, Delhi and other places.
With more and more decisions coming from the Supreme Court, the scope of PIL has
widened. Now a person can approach the Court through a letter and if the Supreme Court
believes that the matter is of public interest, it can consider the letter to be a petition and
direct the hearing of the matter so that public interest may be protected. The process of
PIL has led to increased judicial activism.
Intext Questions 12.3
i. What is judicial review?
ii. What does PIL mean?
iii. What power of the Supreme Court ensures protection of fundamental rights of
people?
What You Have Learnt
The salient feature of Indian Judiciary is that it has a single integrated and unified judicial
system.
The Supreme Court is the highest court of the country. It consists of a Chief Justice with
25 other judges. The President of India appoints them. There names are decided upon and
recommended by a Collegium of the Supreme Court judges. They remain in office till the
age of 65. They can be removed only through a complicated process
The Supreme Court hears cases under its original and appellate jurisdictions. It is guardian
of the Constitution and protector of fundamental rights. It acts as a Court of Record and
can punish for its contempt.
Under Judicial Review the Supreme Court can declare any law null and void if it goes
MODULE - 3
Notes
136
Political Science
Structure of Government against the law of the land. It interprets the Constitution to explain the provisions which
are not very clear.
Public Interest Litigation is very helpful to the people in getting justice. It has resulted in
judicial activism.
Terminal Exercises
1. Describe the composition of the Supreme Court.
2. How can a judge of the Supreme Court be removed from office.
3. Explain the original and appellate jurisdictions of the Supreme Court.
4. ‘Supreme Court is the guardian of Indian Constitution and a protector of Fundamental
Rights.’ Explain.
5. Explain the importance of PIL in our day-to-day life.
Answers to Intext Questions
12.1
(i) President
(ii) 25
(iii) 65
(iv) Jurist
12.2
(i) original
(ii) not bound
(iii) Supreme Court
12.3
(i) Power of the Supreme Court to determine constitutional validity of a law
(ii) Public Interest Litigation - hearing of matters of public interest
(iii) Judicial Review
Hints for Terminal Exercises
1. Refer to sections 12.1 to 12.2.2.
2. Refer to section 12.2.1
3. Refer to sections 12.3.1 and 12.3.2
4. Refer to sections 12.4, 12.4.1 and 12.4.2
5. Refer to section 12.6.
MODULE - 3
Notes
137
The Executive in the States
Structure of Government
13
EXECUTIVE IN THE STATES
ou have already studied that India is a union of 28 States and 7 Union Territories and that
the Founding Fathers of the Indian Constitution adopted a federal system. The executive
under a system is made up of two levels: union and states. You have learnt in Lesson
No.10 about the Union Executive.
At the State level, genereally following the central pattern, the Governor, like the President,
acts as a nominal head and the real powers are exercised by the Council of Ministers
headed by the Chief Minister. The members of the Council of Ministers at the State level
are also collectively and individually responsible to the lower House of the State Legislature
for their acts of omission as well as commission.
Objectives
After studying this lesson, you will be able to
recall the method of appointment of the Governor;
explain the qualifications, tenure and privileges of the Governor;
describe the powers of the Governor including his discretionary powers;
assess the role and position of the Governor;
recall the election/ appointment of the Chief Minister;
describe the appointment of the Council of Minister’s and how it is formed;
explain the powers and functions of the Chief Minister and the Council of Ministers;
analyse the relation between the Governor and the Council of Ministers at the State
level.
Y
MODULE - 3
Notes
138
Political Science
Structure of Government
13.1 The Governor
According to the Constitution of India, there has to be a Governor for each State. If need
be, one person may be appointed Governor for even two or more States. The executive
authority of every State is vested in the Governor of the state. He/She may exercise the
same, directly or through the officers subordinate to him.
13.1.1 The Governor : Appointment, Qualifications, Tenure etc.
The Governor of a State is appointed by the President of India. There is no bar on re-
appointment of a Governor either in the same State or in different States. This shows that
the Governor is not elected but is appointed. In order to become a Governor a person must
have following qualifications:
1. He/she must be a citizen of India;
2. He/she should be at least 35 years; and
3. He/she cannot hold any office of profit during his tenure.
However, if a person is a member of either House of the Parliament or the Legislature of
any State or a member of the Council of Ministers at the National or the State level and is
appointed as Governor, he/she ceases to be a member of the Legislature or the Council of
Ministers.
ORISSA
MODULE - 3
Notes
139
The Executive in the States
Structure of Government The Governor is appointed for a term of five years but normally holds office during the
pleasure of the President. He/she may resign before the expiry of the term or may be
removed by the President earlier. As a matter of fact while appointing or removing the
Governor the President goes by the advise of the Prime Minister. He/she is entitled to a
rent-free residence which is called Raj Bhawan. His/her emoluments, allowances and
privileges are specified by the law. However, the emoluments and allowances of the
Governor cannot be reduced during his tenure.
13.1.2 The Governor: Powers, Position and Role
The powers and functions of the Governor can broadly be categorised under two heads
namely (a) as the head of the State, and (b) as the representative of the Union Government.
Under the head of the State you will study his/her executive, legislative, financial as well
as the power to grant pardon. We will first of all study these powers of the Governor:
(A) Executive Powers
All the executive functions in the State are carried on in the name of the Governor. He/she
not only appoints the Chief Minister but on his/her advice appoints the members of the
Council of Ministers. According to a well established convention he/she calls the leader of
the majority party or an alliance of parties ( if no single party in the Legislative Assembly
gets majority) to form the Government. On the advice of the Chief Minister he/she allocates
portfolios among the ministers.
He/she appoints the Advocate- General and Chairman and members of the State Public
Service Commission.
He/she has the power to appoint judges of the courts, other than the High Court. He/she,
however, is consulted when the judges of the State High Court are appointed by the
President of India.
While discharging all his/her functions as Head of the Executive in the State, the Governors
like the President, is aided and advised by the Council of Ministers headed by the Chief
Minister.
(B) Legislative Powers
The Governor is an inseparable part of the State Legislature and as such he/she possesses
certain legislative powers as well.
The Governor has the right to summon and prorogue the State Legislature. He/she can, on
the recommendation of the Council of Ministers headed by the Chief Ministers dissolve
the State Legislative Assembly.
He/She can address the session of the State Legislative Assembly or Joint Session of the
two Houses of the Legislature. He can send messages to either or both Houses.
He/She can nominate one member of the Anglo Indian Community to the State Legislative
Assembly, if he/she is satisfied that after General Elections, the said community is not
adequately represented in the Assembly (for details regarding the State Legislature please
see Lesson No. 14).
He/she nominates one-sixth members of the total strength of the Legislative Council if the
same is existing in a State. Such nominated members are those who possess special
knowledge in the field of literature, science, cooperative movement and social service.
MODULE - 3
Notes
140
Political Science
Structure of Government
The assent of the Governor is necessary for a bill to become a law. In this regard, the
Governor has the following options :
(a) He/she may give assent to the bill; in that case the bill becomes a law;
(b) He/she may withhold the assent; in which case the bill fails to become a law;
(c) He/she may return the bill with his message. If the State Legislature passes the bill in
its original shape or in a modified form, the Governor has to give the assent to the bill;
(d) He/she may reserve the bill for the consideration of the President.
The Governor has the power to issue ordinances during the period when the State Legislature
is not in session. However, the ordinance has to be placed before the State Legislature
when it reassembles for the next session. It ceases to operate after six weeks, unless
earlier rejected by the Legislature.The Legislative Assembly may replace the ordinance
by a law enacted by it within the said period.
The legislative powers, like the executive powers, of the Governor are, in practice exercised
by the State Council of Ministers, headed by the Chief Minister.
(C) Financial Powers
1. No money bill can be introduced in the State Legislative Assembly without the prior
permission of the Governor.
2. The annual and supplementary budgets are introduced in the Assembly in the name
of the Governor.
3. The Governor has the control over the State Contingency Fund.
(D) Power of Pardon
The Governor possesses the power to grant pardon reprieves, respites or remission of
punishment or to suspend, remit or commute the sentence of any person convicted by the
Courts of any offence against any law relating to a matter to which the executive power
of the State extends.
(E) Discretionary Powers
As has been stated earlier that while exercising the executive, legislative, financial and
judicial powers the Governor is aided and advised by the Council of Ministers headed by
the Chief Minister. These powers are enjoyed by him/her as the Head of State. There are
a few more powers which he/she possesses as the representative of the Central or Union
Government. These powers are also called discretionary powers. It is under special
circumstance that the Governor may act without the advice of the Council of Ministers. In
other words, such powers of the Governor are exercised in his/her own discretion. They
are:
1. A situation may arise when in the opinion of the Governor there is the breakdown of
the constitutional machinery in the State. In such a case, the Governor may report the
situation to the President for imposition of the President’s Rule in that State. As the
Governor exercises this power on his/her own, it is called the discretionary power of
the Governor. In case the Governor’s report is accepted by the President, and he/she
proclaims emergency under Article 356, the State Council of Ministers is removed,
and the State Legislative Assembly is either dissolved or put under suspension. During
MODULE - 3
Notes
141
The Executive in the States
Structure of Government
such emergency, the Governor rules on behalf of the President.
2. A situation may also arise when the Governor may reserve a bill for the consideration
of the President. As the Governor does or can do this job on his own, it again is one of
his discretionary powers.
The discretionary powers of the Governor were meant for extraordinary and
emergency situations. However, in practice these have not only been used in such
situations, but have been made use of relating to normal powers in controversial
manner. This has led to creating tension between Union and State relations.
Intext Questions 13.1
Choose the correct answer from the alternatives given below:
1. Who appoints the Governor of the State?
(a) The President
(b) The Vice President
(c) The Prime Minister
(d) The Chief Justice of India
2. The Governor is appointed for a term of :
(a) Four years
(b) Five years
(c) Six years
(d) Seven years
3. The Chief Minister, along with the State Council of Ministers, is collectively responsible
to:
(a) The Legislative Assembly
(b) The Legislative Council
(c) The Governor of the State
(d) The President of India
4. An ordinance, in the State, is issued by :
(a) The Governor
(b) The State Home Minister
(c) The Chief Minister
(d) The President of India
5. The Governor can dissolve the State Legislative Assembly on the recommendation
of :
MODULE - 3
Notes
142
Political Science
Structure of Government
(a) Home Minister of the State
(b) Chief Justice of the High Court
(c) The Council of Ministers headed by the Chief Ministers
(d) Advocate-General of the State
13.1.3 Position and Role of the Governor
After looking at the list of powers enumerated, you must be feeling that the Governor of a
State is a very powerful person. In a parliamentary system, as you know, the Council of
Ministers is responsible to the legislature and therefore, the real powers are exercised by
it and not the Governor. He/she, like the President, has to act according to the advice of
the Council of Ministers, headed by the Chief Minister. Hence, the Governor ordinarily
has to act as a constitutional or ceremonial head.
However, under extraordinary situations, the Governor gets an opportunity to exercise his/
her authority according to his/her discretion. Since the 1967 General Elections, when several
States opted for Samyukta Vidhayak Dal (SVD) governments, due to the discretionary
powers, the office of the Governor has become quite controversial. The Governors have
acted according to their whims and on certain occasions have tried to please the ruling
party at the National Government level. According to the constitutional experts, the
Governor’s role in three respects i.e. recommending to the President for the proclamation
of emergency; appointing a Chief Minister in case no party gets a clear majority and
deciding the fate of the Chief Minister in case of intra-party defections, has become very
controversial. The deterioration in the political standards and practices that has come
about in the wake of multi-party ministries in many of the States, party rivalries, political
defections and fragmentation of the political parties has been at the root of these
controversies. Suggestions and recommendations of the Administrative Reforms
Commission as well as of Sarkaria Commission have remained only on paper, in spite of
the fact that these recommendations would help in minimising partiality on the part of the
functioning of the Governors.
13.2 The Chief Minister
Each State has a Council of Ministers to aid and advise the Governor in the exercise of his
functions. Chief Minister is the head of the government in the State. The Council of
Ministers with the Chief Minister as its head exercises real authority at the State level.
13.2.1 Formation of the Council of Ministers
The Chief Minister is appointed by the Governor. The person who commands the
majority support in the State Legislative Assembly (Vidhan Sabha) is appointed as
the Chief Minister by the Governor. The other Ministers are appointed by the Governor
on the advice of the Chief Minister. The ministers included in the Council of Minister’s
must belong to either House of the State legislature. A person who is not a member of
the State legislature may be appointed a minister, but he/she ceases to hold office if
he/she is not elected to the State legislature within six months of his appointment.
The portfolios to the members of the Council of Ministers are allocated by the Governor
on the advice of the Chief Minister.
MODULE - 3
Notes
143
The Executive in the States
Structure of Government 13.2.2 Functions of the Chief Minister
Chief Minister is the head of the Council of Ministers of his State. The constitutional
position of the Chief Minister is more or less similar to that of the Prime Minister. The
Chief Minister plays an important role in the administration of the State. We can discuss
his functions as follows:
1. Chief Minister is the real head of the State Government. Ministers are appointed by
the Governor on the advice of the Chief Minister. The Governor allocates portfolios
to the ministers on the advice of the Chief Minister.
2. Chief Minister presides over the Cabinet meetings. He/she coordinates the functioning
of different ministries. He/she guides the functioning of the Cabinet.
3. Chief Minister plays a key role in framing the laws and policies of the State
Government. Bills are introduced by the ministers in the State legislature with his/her
approval. He/she is the chief spokesman of the policies of his government both inside
and outside the State Legislature.
4. The Constitution provides that the Chief Minister shall communicate to the Governor
all decisions of the Council of Ministers relating to the administration and the affairs
of the State and proposals for legislation.
5. The Chief Minister furnishes such information relating to the administration of the
affairs of the State and proposals for legislation as the Governor may call for.
6. If the Governor so requires, the Chief Minister submits for consideration of the Council
of Ministers any matter on which a decision has been taken by a minister but which
has not been considered by the Cabinet.
7. The Chief Minister is the sole link of communication between the Cabinet and the
Governor. The Governor has the right to be informed by the Chief Minister about the
decisions taken by the Council of Ministers.
The above functions show that the real authority is vested with the Council of Ministers
headed by the Chief Minister. The Council of Ministers is the real executive in the State.
The position of the State Council of Ministers largely depends upon the strength of the
ruling party in the State Assembly and the personality of the Chief Minister. The position
of the Chief Minister is more powerful when his party is in power in the Centre as well. As
long as the Chief Minister and his Council of Ministers enjoy the confidence of majority in
the Legislative Assembly, he exercises the real executive power in the State.
13.3 Relationship of the Governor with the Chief Minister
The Governor is the constitutional head of the State. All executive actions in the State are
taken in his name. The Governor appoints the Chief Minister and on the advice of the
Chief Minister he appoints other ministers. The Governor is responsible for smooth running
of the State administration. It is his/her duty to see that the State administration is carried
on in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution. If he/she finds that the constitutional
machinery of the State has broken down or the administration cannot be carried on in
accordance with the provisions of the Constitution, he/she may recommend to the Union
Government to proclaim emergency in the State. The Governor in his/her report can advise
MODULE - 3
Notes
144
Political Science
Structure of Government the President to impose President’s Rule in the State. If the President is satisfied, he/she
will declare emergency under Article 356, popularly known as President’s Rule in the
State. After proclamation, the State comes under the control of the Centre and the Governor
acts as the Centre’s agent. The Council of Ministers is dismissed and Assembly (Vidhan
Sabha) is dissolved or suspended.
The Constitution provides that there shall be a Council of Ministers with the Chief Minister
as its head to aid and advise the Governor in the exercise of his functions, except when he/
she is required by the Constitution to act on his discretion. When the Chief Minister enjoys
the confidence of the majority in the State legislature, then the Governor’s capacity to
exercise his/her discretionary powers is reduced. In such a situation the Chief Minister is
the real head of the State administration and the Governor is the constitutional head. So
we see that the Governor plays a dual role. As the constitutional head of the State, he/she
acts on the advice of the Council of Ministers and also serves as the agent of the Central
Government. The relations between the Governor and the Chief Minister are influenced
by the political and constitutional conditions in the State. In normal conditions, the Governor
is the ceremonial head of the State but during the President’s Rule he/she becomes the
agent of the Centre and assumes control of the State administration. Keeping the spirit of
the Constitution in mind, the Governor may in a sense be the “eyes and ears” of the
Central Government and as he/she is appointed, removed or transferred by the Centre he
continues to be subservient to Centre as well as the party in power there. It may he
emphasised that the job of the Governor would not be merely that of an umpire to see that
the game is played according to the letter and spirit of the Constitutional provisions.
Intext Questions 13.2
1. Answer the following Questions:
(a) How is the Chief Minister appointed?
…..……………………………………………………………………
(b) Who selects the ministers for appointment in the State?
…..……………………………………………………………………
2. Select the appropriate words from the brackets ( ) and fill in the blanks:
(a) The Governor appoints the ministers on the advice of the
……………………………………………………..
(Prime Minister, Chief Minister, Vice-President)
(b) The State Cabinet meetings are presided over by the
………………………….………………………..
(Governor, Speaker, Chief Minister)
(c) The Council of Ministers is responsible to the
………………………………………………………
(Governor, Chief Minister, Legislative/Assembly)
MODULE - 3
Notes
145
The Executive in the States
Structure of Government (d) The Chief Minister is :
.........................................................................................................................
(i) The nominal head of the State
(ii) The real head of the State
(iii)The nominal head of the Government
(iv) The real head of the Government
What You Have Learnt
The Head of the State is Governor who is approved and appointed by the President on the
recommendation of the Union Cabinet. His/her tenure is of five years but can be removed
from his office even prior to the expiry of the term.
He/She also exercises legislative, financial, judicial and discretionary powers. He/She
performs his/her functions as the executive head but is guided and advised by the Council
of Minister’s headed by the Chief Minister.
The discretionary powers which he/she exercises have made him/her a controversial
person. Efforts have been made by Administrative Reforms Commission and Sarkaria
Commission to make him/her impartial but nothing concrete has come out.
The Chief Minister is the real head of the Government at the State level. The Governor
appoints the Chief Minister. The person who commands the support of majority in the
State Legislative Assembly is appointed as the Chief Minister by the Governor. Other
Ministers are appointed by the Governor on the advice of the Chief Minister. The Chief
Minister presides over the Cabinet meetings. He/she lays down the policies of the State
Government. He/she is the sole link between his ministers and the Governor. He/she
Coordinates the functioning of different ministries.
During normal times, the Governor exercises his/her powers on the advice of the Chief
Minister but when there is a breakdown of constitutional machinery in the State, the Governor
advises the President to proclaim constitutional emergency in his discretion. He/she
administers the State, during constitutional emergency, on behalf of the President.
Terminal Exercises
Q 1. How is Governor appointed?
Q 2. What powers are exercised by the Governor?
Q 3. Does the Governor have any discretionary powers ? Mention his/her discretionary
powers?
Q 4. What is the position and role of the Governor?
Q 5. How is the Council of Ministers formed in a State?
Q 6. Describe the functions of the Chief Minister?
MODULE - 3
Notes
146
Political Science
Structure of Government
Q 7. Explain the relationship of the Governor with the Chief Minister?
Answers to Intext Questions
13.1
1. The President
2. Five Years
3. The Legistative Assembly
4. The Governor
5. The Council of Ministers headed by the Chief Minister.
13.2
1. (a) By the Governor; he appoints leader of the majority party, or combination of
parties, in Legislative Assembly.
(b)The Chief Minister.
2. (a) Chief Minister
(b) Chief Minister
(c) Legislative Assembly
(d) The real head of the Government.
Hints for Terminal Exercises
Q 1. Refer to Section 13.1.1
Q 2. Refer to Section 13.2
Q 3. Refer to Section 13.1.2
Q 4. Refer to Section 13.1.3
Q 5. Refer to Section 13.3
Q 6. Refer to Section 13.3.1
Q 7. Refer to Section 13.3.2
Q 8. Refer to Section 13.4
MODULE - 3
Notes
147
The State Legislature
Structure of Government
14
STATE LEGISLATURE
ndia is a Union of States. It means that there is one Union Government and several State
Govermments, It also means that Union (Centre) is more powerful than States. At present
there are 28 States in the Indian Union and each one of them has a Legislature. You have
already read in lesson no.11 about the Parliament of India, which is the law making body
at the Union level. The State Legislature is a law making body at state level. In this Lesson
you will read about the composition of State Legislature, qualifications and election of their
members, powers and functions of the Legislature, and comparison of the powers of two
Houses of the Lagislature.
Objectives
After studying this lesson, you will be able to
describe the composition of Vidhan Sabha and Vidhan Parishad;
recall qualifications of the Members of Legislature;
explain powers and functions of State Legislature;
examine relationship between both the Houses; and
highlight that Vidhan Sabha is more powerful than Vidhan Parishad.
14.1 Composition of The State Legislature
In most of the States, the Legislature consists of the Governor and the Legislative Assembly
(Vidhan Sabha). This means that these State have unicameral Legislature. In a few States,
there are two Houses of the Legislature namely, Legislative Assembly (Vidhan Sabha)
and Legislative council (Vidhan Parishad) besides the Governor.Where there are two
Houses, the Legislature, is known as bicameral.
Five States have the bicameral, legislature. The Lagislative Assembly is known as lower
House or popular House. The Legislative Council is known as upper House. Just as Lok
Sabha has been made powerful at the Union level, the Legislative Assembly has been
made a powerful body in the States.
I
MODULE - 3
Notes
148
Political Science
Structure of Government
14.1.1 Legislative Assembly (Vidhan Sabha)
There is a Legislative Assembly (Vidhan Sabha) in every State. It represents the people of
State. The members of Vidhan Sabha are directly elected by people on the basis of universal
adult franchise. They are directly elected by all adult citizens registered as voters in the
State. All men and women who are 18 years of age and above are eligible to be included
in the voters’ List. They vote to elect members of State Assembly. Members are elected
from territorial constituencies. Every State is divided into as many (single member)
constituencies as the number of members to be elected. As in case of Lok Sabha, certain
number of seats are reserved for Scheduled Castes, and in some States for Scheduled
Tribes also. This depends on population of these weaker sections in the State.
In order to become a Member of Vidhan Sabha a person must:
be a citizen of India;
have attained the age of 25 years;
his/her name must be in voters’ list;
must not hold any office of profit i.e.;
should not be a government servant.
The number of Vidhan Sabha members cannot be more than 500 and not less than 60.
However, very small States have been allowed to have lesser number of members. Thus
Goa has only 40 members in its Assembly. Uttar Pradesh (is a big state even after creation
of Uttaranchal from this state in 2002) has 403 seats in the Assembly.
The Governor of the State has the power to nominate one member of Anglo-Indian
community if this community is not adequately represented in the House. As in case of the
Lok Sabha, some seats are reserved for the members of Scheduled Castes and Schedule
Tribes. The tenure of Vidhan Sabha is five years, but the Governor can dissolve it before
the completion of its term on the advice of Chief Minister. It may be dissolved by the
President in case of constitutional emergency proclaimed under Article 356 of the
Constitution.
In case of proclamation of national emergency (under Article 352) the Parliament can
extend the term of the Legislative Assemblies for a period not exceeding one year at a
time.
14.1.2 Presiding Officer (The Speaker)
The members of Vidhan Sabha elect their presiding officer. The Presiding officer is known
as the Speaker. The Speaker presides over the meatings of the House and conducts its
proceedings. He maintains order in the House, allows the members to ask questions and
speak. He puts bills and other measures to vote and announces the result of voting. The
Speaker does not ordinarily vote at the time of voting. However, he may exercise casting
vote in case of a tie. The Deputy Speaker presides over the meeting during the absence of
the Speaker. He is also elected by the Assembly from amongst its members.
A tie means that equal numbers of members have voted in favour and against a bill
or resolution. To break the tie, casting vote is exercised by the presiding officer of
the Legislative Assembly.
MODULE - 3
Notes
149
The State Legislature
Structure of Government
Intext Questions 14.1
Fill in the blanks :
1. The Union of India consists of __________ States. (18, 25, 28)
2. The minimum age for being a member of Vidhan Sabha is ________ years. (21, 25,
30)
3. The Governor of a State may nominate one member of in Vidhan Sabha belonging to
_______ . (Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe, Anglo-Indian Community)
4. The Tenure of Vidhan Sabha is _________ years. (4, 5, 6)
5. In case of tie in the House casting vote is exercised by the ______________.
(Governor of the State, Chief Minister, Presiding Officer of the Legislature)
14.1.3 Legislative Council (Vidhan Parishad)
Vidhan Parishad is the upper House of the State Legislature. It is not in existence in very
State. Very few States have bicameral Legislature that means having two Houses. At
present five states viz. Utter Pradesh, Bihar, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Jammu &
Kashmir have Vidhan Parishad while, remaining 23 States have one House, i.e. Vidhan
Sabha. Legislative Councils are legacy of the British period. The Parliament can create
Vidhan Parishad in a State where it does not exist, if the Legislative Assembly of the State
passes a resolution to this effect by a majority of the total membership of the Assembly
and by a majority of not less than two thirds of the members of the Assembly present and
voting, and sends the resolution to the Parliament. Similarly, if a State has a Council and
the Assembly wants it to be abolished, it may adopt a resolution by similar majority and
send it to Parliament. In this situation Parliament resolves to abolish the concerned
Legislative Council. Accordingly, Councils of Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and
West Bengal were abolished.
According to the Constitution, the total number of members in the Vidhan Parishad of a
State should not exceed one-third of the total number of members of Vidhan Sabha but
this number should not be less than 40. The Jammu & Kashmir is an exception where
Vidhan Parishad has 36 members.
In order to be a member of the Legislative Council the person concerned should
– be a citizen of India:
– have attained the age of 30 years;
– be a registered voter in the State;
– not hold any office of profit.
The Vidhan Parishad is partly elected and partly nominated. Most of the members are
indirectly elected in accordance with the principle of proportional representation by means
of single transferable vote system. Different categories of members represent different
interests. The composition of the Legislative Council is as follows:
i. One-third members of the Council are elected by the members of the Vidhan Sabha.
MODULE - 3
Notes
150
Political Science
Structure of Government
ii. One-third of the members of the Vidhan Parishad are elected by the electorates
consisting of members of Municipalities, District Boards and other local bodies in the
State;
iii. One-twelfth members are elected by the electorate consisting of graduates in the
State with a standing of three years;
iv. One-twelfth members are elected by the electorate consisting of teachers of educatioal
institutions within the State not lower in standard than a secondary school who have
teaching experience of at least three years;
v. The remaining, i.e. about one-sixth members are nominated by the Governor from
amongst the persons having special knowledge in the sphere of literature, science,
arts, co-operative movement and social service.
The Vidhan Parishad, like Rajya Sabha is a permanent House. It is never dissolved. The
tenure of its members is six years. One-third of its members retire after every two years.
The retiring members are eligible for re-election. In case of vacancy arising out of resignation
or death by-election is held for the remaining period of such members’ tenure.
14.1.4 Chairman of the Legislative Council (Presiding Officer)
The presiding officer of the Vidhan Parishad (Legislative Council) is known as the Chairman,
who is elected by its members. The business of Vidhan Parishad is conducted by the
Chairman. He presides over the meetings and maintains discipline and order in the House.
In addition to his vote as a member, he can exercise his casting vote in case of a tie. In his
absence, Deputy Chairman presides over the House. He is also elected by the members
of the Parishad from amongst themselves.
14.1.5 Sessions of The State Legislature
The State Legislature meets at least twice a year and the inteval between two sessions
cannot be more than six months.
The Governor summons and prorogues the sessions of State Legislature. He addresses
the Vidhan Sabha or both Houses (if there is bi-cameral Legislature) at the commencement
of the first session after each general election and at the commencement of the first
session of the year. This address reflects the policy statement of the government which is
to be discussed in the Legislature, and the privileges and immunities of the members of the
State Legislature are similar to that of members of Parliament.
Intext Questions 14.2
Fill in the blanks :
1. The minimum age for membership of Vidhan Parishad is ________________ years.
(25, 30, 35)
2. The Tenure of members of Vidhan Parishad is __________ years. (4, 5, 6)
3. One-third members of the Vidhan Parishad retire after every __________ years.
(2, 4, 6)
4. The ____________ is empowered to create or abolish the Vidhan Parishad.
MODULE - 3
Notes
151
The State Legislature
Structure of Government
(President, Governor, Parliament)
5. The State of ____________ has bi-cameral Legislature. (Punjab, Haryana, Uttar
Pradesh)
14.2 Powers and Functions of The State Legislature
14.2.1 Law Making Function
The primary function of the State Legislature, like the Union Parliament, is law-making.
The State Legislature is empowered to make laws on State List and Concurrent List. The
Parliament and the Legislative Assemblies have the right to make the laws on the subjects
mentioned in the Concurrent List. But in case of contradiction between the Union and
State law on the subject the law made by the Parliament shall prevail.
Bills are of two types-Ordinary bills and Money bills. Ordinary bills can be introduced in
either of the Houses (if the State Legislature is bicameral), but Money bill is first introduced
in the Vidhan Sabha. After the bill is passed by both Houses, it is sent to the Governor for
his assent. The Governor can send back the bill for reconsideration. When this bill is
passed again by the Legislature, the Governor has to give his assent. You have read when
the Parliament is not in session and if there is a necessity of certain law, the President
issues Ordinance. Similarly, the Governor can issue an Ordinance on the State subjects
when legislature is not in session. The Ordinances have the force of law. The Ordinances
issued are laid before the State Legislature when it reassembles. It ceases to be in operation
after the expirty of six weeks, unless rejected by the Legislature earlier.
The Legislature passes a regular bill, to become a law, to replace the ordinance. This is
usually done within six weeks after reassembly of Legislature.
14.2.2 Financial Powers
The State Legislature keeps control over the finances of the State. A money bill is introduced
first only in the Vidhan Sabha. The money bill includes authorisation of the expenditure to
be incurred by the government, imposition or abolition of taxes, borrowing, etc. The bill is
introduced by a Minister on the recommendations of the Governor. The money bill cannot
be introduced by a private member. The Speaker of the Vidhan Sabha certifies that a
particular bill is a money bill.
After a money bill is passed by the Vidhan Sabha, it is sent to the Vidhan Parishad. It has
to return this bill within 14 days with, or without, its recommendations. The Vidhan Sabha
may either accept or reject its recommendations. The bill is deemed to have been passed
by both Houses. After this stage, the bill is sent to the Governor for his assent. The
Governor cannot withhold his assent, as money bills are introduced with his prior approval.
14.2.3 Control over the Executive
Like the Union Legislature, the State Legislature keeps control over the executive. The
Council of Ministers is responsible to Vidhan Sabha collectively and remains in the office
so long as it enjoys the confidence of the Vidhan Sabha. The Council is removed if the
Vidhan Sabha adopts a vote of no-confidence, or when it rejects a government bill.
In addition to the no-confidence motion, the Legislature keeps checks on the government
MODULE - 3
Notes
152
Political Science
Structure of Government
by asking questions and supplementary questions, moving adjournment motions and calling
attention notices.
14.2.4 Electoral Functions
The elected members of the Vidhan Sabha are members of the Electoral College for the
election of the President of India. Thus they have say in the election of the President of
the Republic (see Lesson No. 10) The members of the Vidhan Sabha also elect members
of the Rajya Sabha from their respective States. One-third members of the Vidhan Parishad
(if it is in existence in the State) are also elected by the members of the Vidhan Sabha.
In all these elections, members of the Vidhan Sabha (Assembly) cost their votes in
accordance with single transferable vote system.
14.2.5 Constitutional Functions
You have learnt about the procedure of amendment of the Constitution. An Amendment
requires special majority of each House of the Parliament and ratification by not less than
half of the States relating to Federal subjects. The resolution for the ratification is passed
by State Legislatures with simple majority. However, a constitutional amendment cannot
be initiated in the State Legislature.
Intext Questions 14.3
(A) Fill in the blanks :
1. State Legislature cannot make laws on the subjects listed in the ______________
List. (Union, State, Concurrent).
2. Money bill is introduced in the State Legislature on the recommendation of the
______________ . (President, Governor, Chief Minister)
3. The Vidhan Parishad has to return the money bill within_________ days. (14, 30, 90)
4. The Council of Ministers remains in office so long as it enjoys the confidence of the
_______ (Governor, Vidhan Sabha, Vidhan Parishad).
(B) Answer the following questions:
1. Who certifies a bill to be a money bill in the State?
2. Who has the power to issue an Ordinance in the State?
3. In whose election do the members of State Assembly vote?
14.3 Limitation of The Powers of the State Legislature
The powers of law-making by the Legislature are limited in the following manner:
As explained above, State Legislature can make a law on the subjects listed in the State
List and also the Concurrent List. But in case, the State law on a subject in the Concurrent
list is in conflict with the Union law, the law made by the Parliament shall prevail.
The Governor of the State may reserve his assent to a bill passed by the State Legislature
MODULE - 3
Notes
153
The State Legislature
Structure of Government
and send it for the consideration of the President. It is compulsory in case the powers of
the High Court are being curtailed. In some other cases, prior approval of the President
for introducing the bill in the Legislature is essential such as, for imposition of restriction on
the freedom of trade and commerce within the State or with other States.
The Parliament has the complete control on the entire State List at the time when the
national emergency has been declared (under Art. 352), although the State Legislature
remains in existence and continues to perform its functions. In case of breakdown of
constitutional machinery (under Art. 356) after fall of popular Government in the State, the
President’s rule is imposed. The Parliament then acquires the power to make laws for that
State, for the period of constitutional emergency.
The Parliament can also make laws on a subject of the State list in order to carry on its
international responsibility. If the Rajya Sabha adopts a resolution by two-thirds majority to
this effect, on its own or at the request of two or more States, the Parliament can enact
laws on a specified subject of the State list.
Fundamental rights also impose limitations on the powers of the State Legislature. It cannot
make laws which violate the rights of the people. Any law passed by the State Legislature
can be declared void by the High Court or Supreme Court if it is found unconstitutional as
violate of the fundamental rights.
14.4 Comparison of the two Houses of the State Legislature
Legislative Assembly (Vidhan Sabha) like the Lok Sabha, occupies a dominant position.
Legislative Council (Vidhan Parishad) enjoys much less powers as compared to the powers
of Vidhan Sabha even in relation to ordinary bills. The Rajya Sabha at the Centre enjoys
equal powers in consideration of bills other than money bills; but Vidhan Parishad enjoys
much lesser powers as compared to the Rajya Sabha.
The relative position of the Vidhan Sabha and Vidhan Parishad is as under:
14.4.1 In Relation to Ordinary Bills
In case of the Parliament, if there is disagreement between the two Houses over an
ordinary bill, the President summons a joint sitting of both the Houses and if the bill is
passed there by the majority of votes, the bill is taken as passed by both Houses of the
Parliament. But this provision of the joint sitting does not exist in the States.
Although an ordinary bill can originate in either House of the State Legislature, yet both
Houses have unequal powers. If a bill is passed in the Vidhan Sabha, it is transmitted to the
Vidhan Parishad for consideration. When it is passed by Vidhan Parishad without any
amendment, the bill is sent to the Governor for his assent. In case, the bill is (a) rejected by
the Parishad or (b) more than three months elapsed without the bill being passed by the
Parishad, or (c) bill is passed with amendment to which the Vidhan Sabha does not agree,
the Vidhan Sabha may pass the bill again in the same or in the subsequent session. After
that the bill is again sent to the Vidhan Parishad. If the Vidhan Parishad does not return the
bill within a period of one month, the bill is deemed to have been passed by both Houses of
the State Legislature and is sent to Governor for his assent. Thus the Vidhan Parishad can
delay the bill for a maximum period of four months. On the other hand, if the bill is first
passed by the Vidhan Parishad and rejected by the Vidhan Sabha, the bill is rejected and
cannot become a law.
MODULE - 3
Notes
154
Political Science
Structure of Government
14.4.2 In Relation to Money Bills
Like in the Lok Sabha, money bill is introduced first in Vidhan Sabha. It cannot be initiated
in the Vidhan Parishad. The Speaker of the Vidhan Sabha certifies whether a particular
bill is a money bill. After the bill is passed in the Vidhan Sabha, it is sent to the Vidhan
Parishad. The Vidhan Parishad gets 14 days time to consider the bill. If the Parishad
passes the bill, it is sent to the Governor for his assent. If the bill is not returned by the
Vidhan Parishad within 14 days, it is deemed to have been passed by the Vidhan Parishad.
If it suggests certain changes in the bill and sends to Vidhan Sabha, the Vidhan Sabha may
accept or reject the changes suggested by the Parishad. The bill is then sent to the Governor
for his assent who is bound to give his assent.
14.4.3 Control Over the Executive
The Council of Ministers of the State is responsible to the Vidhan Sabha only and remains
in the office so long as it enjoys the confidenc of the Assembly (Vidhan Sabha). Although
members in the Vidhan Parishad can ask questions, introduce adjournment motions, calling
attention notives, etc. yet the Vidhan Parishad cannot remove the government.
14.4.4 Electoral Functions
Only the elected members of the Vidhan Sabha are entitled to participate in the election of
the President of India. The members of the Vidhan Sabha do so in their capacity as the
members of the Electoral College. But the members of the Vidhan Parishad are not entitled
to vote in the election of the President. Members of the Rajya Sabha from each State are
elected only by the members of Assembly and not of the Council.
The above discussion makes it clear that the Vidhan Parishad is powerless and non-
influential House. It has become a secondary House. Thus many States prefer to have
unicameral Legislature. But the Vidhan Parishad is not superflous. It serves as a check on
hasty Legislation made by Vidhan Sabha by highlighting the short bills comings or defects
of the bill. It lessens the burden of the Vidhan Sabha, as some bill are initiated in the
Vidhan Parishad.
What You Have Learnt
The State Legislature consists of the Governor, the Legislative Council (Vidhan Parishad)
and the Legislative Assembly (Vidhan Sabha). In most of the States there are unicameral
Legislatures. These State Legislatures consist of the Governor and the Legislative Assembly.
The Parliament is empowered to set up or abolish the Vidhan Parishad in a State. The
Vidhan Parishad is partly indirectly elected and partly nominated. It is permanent House
like the Rajya Sabha. It is never dissolved. The tenure of its members is six year. One third
members retire after every two years.
The minimum age for the membership of the Vidhan Parishad is 30 years, it is 25 years for
Vidhan Sabha. Member of the Vidhan Sabha are directly elected by the people of the
State on the basis of universal adult franchise. Its tenure is five years, but the Governor
can dissolve it earlier on the advice of the Chief Minister. In case of constitutional breakdown
it may be dissolved by the President. The powers of the State Legislture are law-making,
control over the finances, and the executive, electoral functions and constitutional functions.
MODULE - 3
Notes
155
The State Legislature
Structure of Government The Vidhan Sabha occupies a dominant position. The Vidhan Parishad enjoys less powers
as compared to the Vidhan Sabha in relation to ordinary bills, money bills, control over the
exceutive and powers in regard to the election of the President, etc.
Terminal Exercises
1. Describe the composition of Vidhan Sabha (Legislative Assembly)
2. Describe the powers and functions of the State Legislature.
3. Mention the limitations of the powers of the State Legislature.
Answers to Intext Questions
14.1
1. 28 States
2. 25 years
3. Anglo-Indian
4. 5 year
5. Presiding Officer of the Legislature
14.2
1. 30 years
2. 6 years
3. 2 years
4. Parliament
5. Uttar Pradesh
14.3
(A) 1. Union
2. Governor
3. 14 days
4. Vidhan Sabha
(B) 1. Speaker of the State Assembly
2. State Governor
3. The President, members of Rajya Sabha and 1/3 members of Legislative Council.
Hints for Terminal Exercises
1. Refer to Section 14.1.1
2. Refer to Section 14.2
3. Refer to Section 14.3
MODULE - 3
Notes
156
Political Science
Structure of Government
15
HIGH COURTS AND
SUBORDINATE COURTS
ou have already read about the role of India’s highest Court called the Supreme Court.
Just below the Supreme Court, there are High Courts which are the highest courts of law
in States. The High Courts are part of the Indian judiciary, and function under the supervision,
guidance and control of the Supreme Court. As highest court in the State, a High Court
supervises the subordinate courts in the State. The High Courts are mainly courts of
appeal. These Courts hear appeals from numerous subordinate courts working at district
level. The system of appointment of judges, their qualifications and the working of
subordinate courts is under the direct control and supervision of the High Court of the
State concerned. In this lesson you will read about the State High Courts. You will also get
an idea of subordinate courts, including the District and Session Courts.
Objectives
After studying this lesson, you will be able to
describe the composition and organisation of the High Courts;
explain the powers and jurisdiction of the High Courts;
appreciate the role of the High Courts as protector of fundamental rights; and
explain the working of the subordinate or lower courts.
15.1 The State High Courts
At present there are 21 High Courts for 28 States and seven Union Territories. The High
Courts are the highest courts at State level, but being part of integrated Indian judiciary
they work under the superintendence, direction and control of the Supreme Court.
15.1.1 Composition
There is a High Court for each State. However, there can be a common High Court for
Y
MODULE - 3
Notes
157
High Courts and Subordinate Courts
Structure of Government
two or more States. For example, the States of Punjab and Haryana and the Union Territory
of Chandigarh have a common High Court situated at Chandigarh. Similarly, the High
Court of Guwahati is common for seven northeastern States of Assam, Nagaland, Manipur,
Meghalaya, Mizoram, Tripura and Arunachal Pradesh. Delhi, though not a State, has its
own separate High Court. Every High Court has a Chief Justice and a number of judges.
The number of judges varies from State to State. The number of judges of each High
Court is determined by the President.
The judges of the High Courts are appointed by the President of India. While appointing
Chief Justice of a High Court, the President has to consult the Chief Justice of the Supreme
Court and the Governor of the State concerned. While appointing other judges, the President
consults the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, the Chief Justice of the High Court and
Governor of the State concerned. The judges can be transferred from one High Court to
another by the President. As mentioned earlier, consultation with the Chief Justice of the
Supreme Court in respect of appointments and transfers of the judges of the High Court is
also obligatory and binding for the President. While the constitutional status of the President
remains intact, the actual selection of judges is made by a team of senior judges of the
Supreme Court, headed by the Chief Justice of India in accordance with 1993 ruling as
reinterpreted in 1999 by the Supreme Court.This is known as Collegium of the Supreme
Court. Its recommendations are binding on the President.
15.1.2 Qualifications, Tenure and Removal of the Judges
In order to be appointed as a judge of a High Court, the person concerned should possess
following qualifications:
(i) He or she should be a citizen of India.
(ii) He or she should have held a judicial office, at the district level or below for at least
ten years.
OR
He or she should have been an advocate in one or more High Courts for at least ten
years continuously without break.
Once appointed, the High Court judges hold office till they attain the age of 62 years. After
retirement, they may be appointed judges of the Supreme Court or they may practise as
advocates either in the Supreme Court or in any High Court other than the High Court in
which they served as judges.
A High Court judge may be removed before he or she attains the age of 62 years, only on
the ground of incapacity or proved misbehaviour. He or she may be removed if both the
Houses of Parliament adopt a resolution by a majority of their total membership and by
two thirds majority of members present and voting, separately in each House in the same
session. Such a resolution is submitted to the President, who then can remove the concerned
judge. This procedure is same as for removal of judges of the Supreme Court.
MODULE - 3
Notes
158
Political Science
Structure of Government
Intext Questions 15.1
Fill in the blanks :
(i) At present there are ____________ High Courts in India. (18, 20, 21)
(ii) The Union Territory of ___________ has its own separate High Court. (Daman and
Diu, Chandigarh, Delhi)
(iii) The judges of the High Court are appointed by the _____________(Governor,
President, Prime Minister)
(iv) The retirement age of the judges of a High Court is __________ years. (60, 62, 65)
15.2 Powers and Jurisdiction of the High Court
The High Courts have the power to hear and decide cases which are brought directly to it.
This power is called Original Jurisdiction. When a High Court hears an appeal against the
decision of a lower court, it is called Appellate Jurisdiction. A High Court is mostly a court
of appeal. Appeals in both civil and criminal cases are brought to it against the decisions of
the lower courts.
15.2.1 Original Jurisdiction
The original jurisdiction of the High Courts is very limited. Cases of alleged violation of
fundamental rights can be started in High Courts, or in the Supreme Court. The High
Courts have the power to issue orders to restore the fundamental rights of the people. You
will recall that these orders are called writs.
Power to Issue Writs: You have read in the ‘Right to Constitutional Remedies’ in the
lesson on Fundamental Rights that the Supreme Courts and High Courts can issue writs
to ensure that rights of the people are not violated either by State or otherwise. The
Constitution has specifically given the power ‘to issue certain writs’ to the High Courts.
These Courts can issue writs (which are binding directions of the Court) to any person or
authority, including government of the State concerned. The writs in the nature of Habeas,
Corpus, mandamus, prohibition, quo warranto, and certiorari (explained in lesson 6)
for the enforcement of rights of the people. This power is exercised in the original jurisdiction
of the High Court, and is not derogatory to similar power of the Supreme Court.
A High Court can hear election petition in its original jurisdiction, challenging the election
of a Member of Parliament or State Legislative Assembly. It can set aside the election of
a member if it finds that he or she used corrupt means in his or her election. All the lower
courts function under the superintendence control and guidance of the High Court in the
State.
High Courts hear appeals against the judgements of the subordinate courts. In civil cases,
appellate jurisdiction extends to all such cases which involve an amount exceeding
Rs. 5 lakh. Any party to a civil dispute, which is dissatisfied with the decision of the
MODULE - 3
Notes
159
High Courts and Subordinate Courts
Structure of Government
District Court may appeal against the decision of the District Court in the High Court. It
also hears cases relating to patents and designs, succession, land acquisition, insolvency
and guardianship.
The High Courts hear and decide appeals against decisions of the sessions courts in criminal
cases. An accused who is found guilty by a sessions court, and awarded a sentence may
file an appeal against the verdict of the sessions court. Sometimes even State may appeal
against a sessions court judgement for enhancement of punishment. The High Court may
accept the decision of the sessions court, or alter it and increase or reduce the sentence, or
change the nature of sentence, or may acquit an accused. However, if an accused is
awarded death sentence by the sessions court, the sentence must be confirmed by the
High Court before the person is hanged to death. Even if the accused does not file an
appeal against death sentence, the State refers it to the High Court for confirmation.
15.2.2 Transfer of Cases to the High Court
If a High Court is satisfied that a case pending in a subordinate court involves a substantial
question of law as to the interpretation of the Constitution, the High Court may withdraw
such a case from the lower court. After examining the case, the High Court may either
dispose it off itself, or may return it to the lower court with instructions for disposal of the
case.
15.2.3 Superintendence of Subordinate Courts
A High Court has the right of superintendence and control over all the subordinate courts
in all the matter of judicial and administrative nature. In the exercise of its power of
superintendence, the High Court may call for any information from the lower courts; may
make and issue general rules and prescribe norms for regulating the practice and
proceedings of these courts; and it may issue such directions, from time to time, as it may
deem necessary.
It can also make rules and regulations relating to the appointment, demotion, promotion
and leave of absence for the officers of the subordinate courts.
15.2.4 Court of Record
A High Court is also a court of record, like the Supreme Court. Lower courts in a State are
bound to follow the decisions of the High Court which are cited as precedents. A High
Court has also the power to punish for its contempt or disrespect.
Intext Questions 15.2
1. Though not a state, ______________ has High Court.
2. Which punishment awarded by lower courts cannot be implemented without
confirmation by the High Court?
.……………………………………………………………………........................
MODULE - 3
Notes
160
Political Science
Structure of Government
15.3 Subordinate or Lower Courts in Districts
Subordinate or Lower Courts
Civil Courts Revenue Courts Criminal Courts
District Judge
or District and
Sessions Judge
Sessions Judge
or District and
Sessions Judge
Board of Revenue
Sub Judge-
Family Courts
Munsif
Small Causes Courts
Commissioner,
Collector
Tehsildar
Naib Tehsildar
Metropolitan Magistrate
Or
I Class Magistrate
II Class Magistrate
III Class Magistrate
In each district of India there are various types of subordinate or lower courts. They are
civil courts, criminal courts and revenue courts. These Courts hear civil cases, criminal
cases and revenue cases, respectively.
Civil cases pertain to disputes between two or more persons regarding property, breach
of agreement or contract, divorce or landlord – tenant disputes. Civil Courts settle these
disputes. They do not award any punishment as violation of law is not involved in civil
cases.
Criminal cases relate to violation of laws. These cases involve theft, dacoity, rape, pick-
pocketing, physical assault, murder, etc. These cases are filed in the lower court by the
police, on behalf of the state, againt the accused. In such cases the accused, if found
guilty, is awarded punishment like fine, imprisonment or even death sentence.
Revenue cases relate to land revenue on agriculture land in the district.
15.3.1 Qualifications and Appointment of Judges
The judges of subordinate courts are appointed by the Governor in consultation with the
Chief Justice of the High Court of the concerned State. These days, in most of the States
judicial service officers including the magistrates are selected through competitive
examinations held by the State Public Service Commission. They are finally appointed by
the Governor.
MODULE - 3
Notes
161
High Courts and Subordinate Courts
Structure of Government Any person who has been an advocate for at least seven years or one who is in the
service of the State or the Central Government is eligible to be a judge of the District
Court provided he/she possess the required legal qualifications.
15.3.2 Civil Courts
The Court of the District Judge is the highest civil court in a district to deal with civil cases.
Very often the same court is called the Court of District and Sessions Judge, when it deals
with both civil and criminal cases at the district level. The judge of this court is appointed
by the Governor of the State.
Below the Court of District Judge, there may be one or more courts of sub judges in the
district. Separate family courts, which are equal to courts of sub judge, have been established
in districts to exclusively hear cases of family disputes, like divorce, custody of children,
etc. Below them there are courts of munsifs and small causes courts which decide cases
involving petty amounts. No appeal can be made against the decisions of the small causes
courts. All these courts hear and settle civil disputes.
The Court of the District Judge (called the District Courts) hears not only appeals against
the decisions of the courts of sub judges, but also some of the cases begin directly in the
Court of District Judge itself. Appeals against the decisions of this court may be heard by
the High Court of the State.
Civil Courts deal with cases pertaining to disputes between two or more persons regarding
property, divorce, contract, and breach of agreement or landlord – tenant disputes.
15.3.3 Criminal Courts
The Court of the Sessions Judge (known as Sessions Courts) is the highest court for
criminal cases in a district. Below this court, there are courts of magistrates of First,
Second and Third class. In metropolitan cities like Delhi, Calcutta, Mumbai and Chennai,
First Class Magistrates are called Metropolitan Magistrates. All these criminal courts are
competent to try the accused and to award punishment, as sanctioned by law, to those
who are found guilty of violation of law.
Criminal Courts hear criminal cases which are related to violation of laws. These cases
involve theft, dacoity, rape, arson, pick-pocketing, physical assault, murder etc. In such
cases the guilty person is awarded punishment. It may be fine, imprisonment or even
death sentence.
Normally every accused is presented by the police before a magistrate. The magistrate
can finally dispose off cases of minor crime. But, when a magistrate finds prima-facie
case of serious crime he/she may commit the accused to the sessions court. Thus, sessions
courts try the accused who are sent upto them by the magistrate concerned.
As mentioned above, an accused who is awarded death sentence by the sessions court,
can be hanged to death only after his sentence is confirmed by the High Court.
15.3.4 Revenue Courts
Revenue courts deal with cases of land revenue in the State. The highest revenue court in
the district is the Board of Revenue. Under it are the Courts of Commissioners, Collectors,
Tehsildars and Assistant Tehsildars. The Board of Revenue hears the final appeals against
all the lower revenue courts under it.
MODULE - 3
Notes
162
Political Science
Structure of Government
Land Revenue: It is a sort of tax on agriculture land which the government collects
from the farmers.
Intext Questions 15.3
1. Name the highest civil court of a district.
.……………………………………………………………………
2. Which is the highest criminal court in a district?
.……………………………………………………………………
3. Fill in the blanks:
(i) There can be no appeal against the decision of___________ Courts.
(ii) The highest revenue court in a State is the______________.
What You Have Learnt
The distinct feature of our judiciary is that it has a single integrated and unified judicial
system.
The High Court is the highest court in a State. The number of judges varies from State to
state. The President appoints them. They hold office up to the age of 62 years. They may
be removed earlier by the President on receipt of a request from both Houses of Parliament.
It has original and appellate jurisdiction. It is the protector of the fundamental rights. It is
also court of record, and can punish for its contempt.
There are 21 High Courts for 28 States and seven Union Territories.
In every district there are subordinate civil, family, criminal and revenue Courts. Appeals
against the decisions of the lower courts are taken to the High Court of the State.
Terminal Exercises
1. Describe the composition of the High Court.
2. How can a judge of the High Court be removed from office?
3. Explain the original jurisdiction of the High Court.
4. Describe the appellate jurisdiction of the High Court.
5. How are the subordinate courts in a district organised?
6. In what way are the powers and functions of civil courts different from criminal
courts in a district?
MODULE - 3
Notes
163
High Courts and Subordinate Courts
Structure of Government
Answers to Intext Questions
15.1
(i) 21
(ii) Delhi
(iii) President
(iv) 62
15.2
(1) Delhi
(2) Death Sentence
15.3
(1) Court of the District Judge (District Court)
(2) Court of the Sessions Judge (Sessions Court)
(3) (i) Small Causes Courts
(ii) Board of Revenue
Hints for Terminal Exercises
(1) Refer to Section 15.1.1
(2) Refer to Section 15.1.2
(3) Refer to Section 15.2.1
(4) Refer to Section 15.2.2
(5) Refer to Section 15.3
(6) Refer to Sections 15.3.2 and 15.3.3
MODULE - 3
Notes
164
Political Science
Structure of Government
16
LOCAL GOVERNMENT:
URBAN AND RURAL
n your day-to-day life you require such basic facilities as water supply, drainage, garbage
disposal, public health and sanitation. You may have watched such activities as installation
or repairing of street lights, construction or repairing of roads or say renovation of a village
tank . Who does all this? It is not the Central or the State government which immediately
comes to your mind. It is the local government with which you can immediately relate
yourself.
In this leeson you will study about local government at various levels.
Objectives
After studying this lesson, you will be able to
appreciate that the local government has an important role to play both in the rural as
well as urban areas;
describe the salient features of the 73
rd
and 74
th
amendments of the Constitution;
describe the organisation and functions of the local bodies (Urban and Rural);
identify the financial resources of local bodies;
explain the functions of local bodies; and
evaluate the performance of Panchayati Raj institutions as instruments of democratic
decentralisation (grassroots democracy).
16.1 Urban Local Bodies
In our towns and cities, we have local government institutions that are called Municipalities
and Municipal Corporations. An urban area is usually a compact and densely populated
area. Municipal administration is necessary to provide basic civic facilities like water supply,
drainage, garbage disposal, public health, primary education, construction and maintenance
I
MODULE - 3
Notes
165
Local Government: Urban and Rural
Structure of Government of roads and sanitation. As local level democratic government, the municipal institutions
that are elected by the local people, raise taxes and collect fees and fines from the public.
They regulate city life by laying down regulations regarding buildings, road network and
garbage disposal. There are many developmental activities undertaken by them like women
and child development, slums improvement etc. Municipal government has made possible
participative urban development and local management of civic facilities.
16.2 Reforms Introduced by the 74
th
Constitutional Amendment
The recommendations and suggestions of several commissions and committees appointed
by the Central Government, from time to time, to improve the urban bodies resulted in the
enactment of the Constitution (Seventy-fourth Amendment) Act, 1992. Earlier, State
Governments were free to manage their local bodies as they wished. The Amendment
made statutory provisions for the establishment, empowerment and functioning of urban
local self-governing institutions. The main provisions of this Act can be grouped under two
categories–compulsory and voluntary. Some of the compulsory provisions which are binding
on all States are:
(i) Constitution of nagar panchayats, municipal councils and municipal corporations in
small, big and very big urban areas respectively;
(ii) Reservation of seats in urban local bodies for Scheduled Castes / Scheduled Tribes
roughly in proportion to their population;
(iii) Reservation of seats for women up to one-third seats;
(iv) The State Election Commission, constituted in order to conduct elections in the
panchayati raj bodies (see 73
rd
Amendment) will also conduct elections to the urban
local self- governing bodies;
(v) The State Finance Commission, constituted to deal with financial affairs of the
panchayati raj bodies also looks into the financial affairs of the local urban self-
governing bodies;
(vi) Tenure of urban local self-governing bodies is fixed at five years and in case of
earlier dissolution fresh elections are held within six months;
Some of the voluntary provisions which are not binding, but are expected to be observed
by the States are:
(i) Giving voting rights to members of the Union and State Legislatures in these bodies;
(ii) Providing reservation for backward classes;
(iii) Giving financial powers in relation to taxes, duties, tolls and fees, etc;
(iv) Making the municipal bodies autonomous and devolution of powers to these bodies
to perform some or all of the functions enumerated in the Twelfth Schedule added to
the Constitution through this Act and/or to prepare plans for economic development.
In accordance with the 74
th
Amendment, municipal corporations and municipalities (municipal
boards or municipal committees) are now regulated in a fairly uniform manner in all the
States. However you must remember that local self-government continues to be a subject
in the State List. Thus, the 73
rd
and 74
th
amendments provide framework for the States in
MODULE - 3
Notes
166
Political Science
Structure of Government
respect of local government. Thus, each State has its own Election Commission which
conducts elections to all local bodies after regular intervals of five years. Each State has
its Finance Commission to regulate finances of the local bodies. Seates are reserved in the
corporations and municipalities for Scheduled Castes and Tribes. One-third seats are
reserved for women in all local bodies – urban and rural.
16.3 Composition
The Municipal bodies are constituted of persons chosen by direct election from the territorial
constituencies in the municipal area. However, the Legislature of a State may, by law,
provide for the representation in a municipal body of persons having special knowledge or
experience of municipal administration, the members of Rajya Sabha, Lok Sabha and the
members of Legislative Council and Legislative Assembly of the State, representing
constituencies, which comprise wholly or partly the Municipal area and the Chairpersons
of Wards Committees.
Empowerment of weaker sections of society and women by reserving seats for such
groups is one of the important constitutional provisions of the Constitutional Amendment.
The offices of chairperson are also be reserved for SC/ST and women. Thus at least one
year, out of five year duration of Municipal Corporation of Delhi, the office of Mayor is
reserved for a women, and one year is reserved for a Councillor of Scheduled Caste. It
gives a term of five years to the municipalities and if any of them is to be dissolved, it must
be given an opportunity of being heard.
To be able to understand the composition of urban local bodies, we give below a very brief
account of Municipal Corporation of Delhi. This Corporation covers entire area of
Delhi, except small portion of New Delhi where seat of Union Government is situated.
The Corporation has 134 elected members (Councillors). They are directly elected from
single-member wards on the basis of universal adult franchise. Several seats are reserved
for women and for Scheduled Castes. It is elected for 5 years. Besides, there are 15
persons nominated by the Delhi Legislative Assembly. The Corporation functions through
various Committees – the standing committee being the most important. The political head
of the Corporation is the Mayor, elected by the Councillor for one year. A civil servant,
called the Municipal Commissioner is its administrative head. Most other Corporations are
generally based on this pattern.
16.4 Function of Urban Local Bodies
It is a common practice to divide the organisation of a corporation or a municipality into
two parts: (a) the deliberative, and (b) the executive part. The corporation, council or
municipal board or council consisting of the elected representatives of the people constitutes
the deliberative part. It acts like a legislature. It discusses and debates on general municipal
policies and performance, passes the budget of the urban local body, frames broad policies
relating to taxation, raising of resources, pricing of services and other aspects of municipal
administration. It keeps an eye on municipal administration and holds the executive
accountable for what is done or not done. For instance, if water supply is not being properly
managed, or there is an outbreak of epidemic, the deliberative wing criticises the role of
the administration and suggests measures for improvement. The executive part of municipal
administration is looked after by the municipal officers and other permanent employees. In
the corporations, the Municipal Commissioner is the executive head, and all other
MODULE - 3
Notes
167
Local Government: Urban and Rural
Structure of Government departmental officers like engineers, finance officers, health officers etc. function under
his/her control and supervision. In a large corporation such as Delhi or Mumbai Municipal
Corporation the Commissioner is usually a senior IAS officer. In the municipalities, the
executive officer holds a similar position and looks after the overall administration of a
municipality.
Municipal functions are generally classified into obligatory and discretionary types. The
obligatory (compulsary) functions are those that the municipal body must perform. In this
category fall such functions as water supply; construction and maintenance of roads,
streets, bridges, subways and other public works, street lighting; drainage and sewerage;
garbage collection and disposal; prevention and control of epidemics. Some other obligatory
functions are public vaccination and inoculation; maintenance of hospitals and dispensaries
including maternity and child welfare centres; checking food adulteration; removal of slums;
supply of electricity; maintenance of cremation and burial grounds; and town planning. In
some States some of these functions may be taken over by State Government.
The discretionary functions are those that a municipal body may take up if funds permit.
These are given less priority. Some of the discretionary functions are construction and
maintenance of rescue homes and orphanages, housing for low income groups, organising
public receptions, provision of treatment facilities, etc.
Municipal Corporations take up more functions than municipalities. There are corporations
like Delhi, Mumbai, Vadodara , Pune, Ahmedabad which are known for their various city
development activities in such areas as public transport, public parks and open spaces
including municipal zoo, and even milk and electricity supply.
16.4.1 Financial Resources of Urban Local Bodies
Municipal corporations and municipalities raise their own resources from a variety of
sources, as provided for in the respective municipal laws. Their own revenue sources are
income from (i) taxes, (ii) fees and fines, and (iii) earning from municipal enterprises like
land, tanks, markets, shops, etc. Besides these bodies receive grants from the State.
Property tax on land and buildings is the most important source of income of most urban
local bodies. Other taxes levied by them are advertisement tax, professional tax etc. Octroi
still remains an important source of income of municipalities in Western India. Now, the
trend is toward abolishing this tax as it obstructs the free flow of traffic on highways. They
also charge fines for breach of municipal rules and regulations. From municipal shops and
markets and rest houses, municipalities often earn considerable sum of revenue. It is a
general practice for States to give grants to their municipal bodies to improve their revenue
position. State grants-in-aid may be on ad hoc basis; or, it can be on the basis of certain
principles like size of population, slums concentration, location of town, etc.
Some of the taxes and rates collected by urban bodies are:
Property Tax; Water tax for water supplied; Seweraging Tax, Fire Tax; Taxes on animals
and vehicles; Theatre Tax; Duty on transfer of Property; Octroi Duty on certain items
brought into the city; Education Cess (Tax); and Professional Tax.
Some other sources of income are fines and fees such as Fees on Tehbazari on takhats
and chabutras; licence fees – on cycle rickshaw, bicycles etc.; rent from municipal shops;
and fines imposed for violation of municipal by laws.
MODULE - 3
Notes
168
Political Science
Structure of Government
Intext Questions 16.1
Fill in the blanks:
1. Metropoliton (large) cities like Delhi and Mumbai have_____________ as their
urban local bodies.
(Municipal Corporation/Municipal Committee/Nagar Panchayat)
2. ________________ seats are now reserved for women in local bodies.
(Half/One-third/One-fourth)
3. State Election Commission conducts election of _________________.
(State Governor/Vidhan Sabha/Municipal Corporations and Committees)
4. Normal tenure of urban local bodies is _________________ years.
(three/four/five).
5. The administrative head of a municipal corporation is designated as
_______________ .
(Chairman/Mayor/Municipal Commissioner)
6. _______________ is an obligatory function of the urban local bodies.
(Maintenance of orphanages/construction of houses for low income group/supply of
drinking water)
7. ______________ is the major source of income of urban local bodies.
( Property Tax/Fire Tax/Education Cess)
16.5 Panchayati Raj Institutions
The concept of panchayati raj is not only based on the ancient Indian belief that “God lives
in the Panch”, or panch parmeshwar, but was very enthusiastically propounded by Mahatma
Gandhi. He believed in the power to all sections of people, and in grassroots democracy.
That is possible only through village panchayats.
Importance of Panchayati Raj
Right up to the British period, panchayats played a very important role in the social life of
the village and also resolved minor disputes among villagers. Under the British rule,
panchayats lost the respect and power which they had earlier enjoyed because of the new
system of courts, laws and revenue collection. Though in independent India one of the
Directive Principles of State Policy in the Constitution directed the Union and State
Governments to try to take steps to organise village panchayats and give them such powers
and authority as may be necessary to enable them to act as units of self-government
panchayati raj was not taken up seriously by the states. However, they are now given
Constitutional status.
MODULE - 3
Notes
169
Local Government: Urban and Rural
Structure of Government
16.5.1 Recommendations of The Balwant Rai Mehta Committee
and The Ashok Mehta Committee
The Balwant Rai Mehta Committee ( 1957) suggested ways of democratic decentralisation
in a three-tier structure of panchayati raj. This meant that panchayati raj should be set
up at three levels. They should be furnished with sufficient powers and resources. These
three tiers of panchayati raj are:
zila parishad at district level;
panchayat samiti at intermediate or block level;
village or gram panchayat at village level.
In this scheme, panchayat samiti was to be the most important. These three bodies were
interlinked as the lower body was represented in the higher body through its chairperson.
Panchayati raj of the Balwant Rai Mehta Committee pattern was first introduced by
Rajasthan in 1959. Later, other States also followed. Initially, both the people and the
states were enthusiastic about Panchayati Raj. However panchayati raj institutions began
to decline very soon owing to government indifference and political interference.
The Ashok Mehta Committee set up by the government to review panchayati raj
submitted its report in 1978. This Committee felt that panchayati raj had inculcated political
awareness among rural masses. However, it had not been successful in carrying out
economic development. Unlike the Balwant Rai Mehta Committee, the Asoka Mehta
Committee suggested a two tier structure of panchayati raj. These two-tiers were to be:
zila parishad at district level;
mandal panchayat, an administrative unit between village panchayat and panchayat
samiti. In the two-tier system, the main emphasis was laid on zila parishad and not on
panchayat samiti as in the case of the earlier committee report. However the
recommendations of the Ashok Mehta Committee could not be implemented due to
the collapse of the Janata Government in 1980.
The States like Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu did not hold elections to panchayats
for long. At the same time, many new agencies were set up by the Central Government
like
-
District Rural Development Agency, to take up development programmes in
collaboration with the State Governments, with panchayats having no role in these
programmes. They themselves hardly had any funds to take up development projects in
the villages.
16.5.2 Salient Features of 73
rd
Amendment
The 73
rd
amendment to the Constitution enacted in 1992 made statutory provisions for the
establishment, empowerment and functioning of Panchayati Raj institutions. Some provisions
of this amendment are binding on

the States while others have been left to be decided by
respective State Legislatures at their discretion. The salient features of this amendment
are as follows:
Some of the compulsory requirements of the new law are:
Organisation of Gram Sabhas;
MODULE - 3
Notes
170
Political Science
Structure of Government creation of a three-tier Panchayati Raj Structure at the Zila, Block and Village levels;
almost all posts, at all levels to be filled by direct elections;
minimum age for contesting elections to the Panchayati Raj institutions be twenty-
one years;
the post of Chairman at the Zila and Block levels should be filled by indirect election;
there should be reservation of seats for Scheduled Castes/ Scheduled Tribes in
Panchayats, in proportion to their population, and for women in Panchayats up to
one-third seats;
State Election Commission to be set up in each State to conduct elections to Panchayati
Raj institutions;
the tenure of Panchayati Raj institutions is five years, if dissolved earlier, fresh elections
to be held within six months; and
a State Finance Commission is set up in each State every five years. (Please refer to
74
th
Amendment discussed above)
Some of the provisions which are not binding on the States, but only guidelines are:
Giving voting rights to members of the Central and State legislatures in these bodies;
providing reservation for backward classes; and
the Panchayati Raj institutions should be given financial powers in relation to taxes,
levy fees etc. and efforts shall be made to make Panchayats autonomous bodies.
16.6 Composition of Panchayats
The Panchayati Raj system, as established in accordance with the 73
rd
Amendment, is a
three-tier structure based on direct elections at all the three tiers : village, intermediate and
district. Exemption from the intermediate tier is given to the small States having less than
20 lakhs population. It means that they have freedom not to have the middle level of
panchayat. All members in a panchayat are directly elected. However, if a State so decides,
members of the State Legislature and Parliament may also be represented in district and
middle level panchayats. The middle level panchayats are generally known as Panchayat
Samitis. Provisions have been made for the inclusion of the chairpersons of the village
panchayats in the block and district level panchayats. The provision regarding reservation
of seats for Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes has already been mentioned earlier.
However it should also be noted here that one-third of total seats are reserved for women,
and one-third for women out of the Quota fixed for Scheduled Castes/Tribes. Reservation
is also provided for offices of Chairpersons. The reserved seats are allotted by rotation to
different constituencies in a panchayat area. State Legislatures can provide for further
reservation for other backward classes (OBC) in panchayats.
(i) Term
The Amendment provides for continuous existence of panchayats. The normal term of a
panchayat is five years. If a panchayat is dissolved earlier, elections are held within six
months. There is a provision for State level Election Commission, for superintendence,
MODULE - 3
Notes
171
Local Government: Urban and Rural
Structure of Government direction and control of preparation of electoral rolls and conduct of elections to panchayats.
(ii) Powers and responsibilities of panchayats
State Legislatures may endow panchayats with such powers and authority as may be
necessary to enable the panchayats to become institutions of self-government at grassroots
level. Responsibility may be given to them to prepare plans for economic development and
social justice. Schemes of economic development and social justice with regard to 29
important matters such as agriculture, primary and secondary education, health and
sanitation, drinking water, rural housing, welfare of weaker sections, social forestry and so
forth may be made by them.
16.7 Three-tier Structure of Panchayati Raj
(i) Panchayats at Village Level
This is the basic or grasroots level of panchayati raj. The panchayat for a village or a
group of villages includes (a) Gram Sabha, the symbol of direct democracy; (b) Gram
Panchayat and (c) Nyaya Panchayat.
(a) Gram Sabha
Recognition to Gram Sabha, an institution of direct democracy, is an important feature of
the 73
rd
amendment. Gram Sabha consists of all adult residents within a village or group of
villages. Thus it is the only institution of direct democracy in the country.
Generally, two meetings of Gram Sabha are held every year. In these meetings, the Gram
Sabha as the general body of the people hear annual statement of accounts, audit or
administrative report of panchayats. It also recommends new development projects to be
undertaken by panchayats. It also helps in identifying poor people of the village so that
they may be given economic assistance.
(b) Gram Panchayat
The lower tier of the panchayati raj system in the country is the village level panchayat. It
is known in most of the States as Gram Panchayat: The members of a Gram Panchayat
are directly elected by the people. The number of members of a Gram Panchayat is fixed
on the basis of village population. Hence, it differs from panchayat to panchayat. Election
is held on the basis of single-member constituency. As already mentioned, one-third of the
total number of seats are reserved for women; and some for Scheduled Castes and Tribes
including one-third for women of Scheduled Castes and Tribes.
Chairpersons of Gram Panchayats are called by different names in different States as

Sarpanch, Pradhan or President. There is a Vice-Chairperson also. Both are elected by
members of the panchayat. Gram Panchayats generally hold their meetings once a month.
Panchayats at all levels constitute committees for transaction of their business.
(c) Nyaya Panchayat
These are judicial panchayats and reminder of ancient village panchayat that settled local
disputes. They are set up to provide speedy and inexpensive justice. Jurisdiction of Nyaya
Panchayat varies from State to State – one such panchayat is set up for five or more gram
panchayats. Their tenure is between 3 and 5 years, as determined by State law. Nyaya
Panchayats generally deal with petty civil and criminal cases, and can impose fine upto
MODULE - 3
Notes
172
Political Science
Structure of Government
Rs. 100 only. There are no lawyers to plead the cases in Nyaya Panchayat. Parties to the
disputes argue their own cases.
(ii) Panchayat Samiti
The second or middle tier of the panchayati raj is Panchayat Samiti which provides a link
between Gram Panchayat and a Zila Parishad. The strength of a Panchayat Samiti also
depends on the population in a samiti area. In Panchayat Samiti, some members are directly
elected. Sarpanchs of gram panchayats are ex-officio members of Panchayat Samitis.
However, all the sarpanchs of Gram Panchayats are not members of Panchayat Samitis
at the same time. The number varies from State to State and is rotated annually. It means
that only chairpersons of some Gram Panchayats in a Samiti area are members of Panchayat
Samiti at a time. In some panchayats, members of Legislative Assemblies and Legislative
Councils as well as members of Parliament who belong to the Samiti area are co-opted as
its members. Chairpersons of Panchayat Samitis are, generally elected from among the
directly elected members.
(iii) Zila Parishad
Zila Parishad at the district level is the uppermost tier of the panchayati raj system. This
institution has some directly elected members whose number differs from State to State as
it is also based on population. Chairpersons of Panchayat Samitis are ex-officio members
of Zila Parishads. Members of Parliament, Legislative Assemblies and Councils belonging
to the districts are also nominated members of Zila Parishads.
The chairperson of a Zila Pazishad, called Adhyaksha or President, is elected from among
the directly elected members. The vice-chairperson is also elected similarly.
Zila parishad meetings are conducted once a month. Special meetings can also be convened
to discuss special matters. Subject committees are also formed.
Ex-officio: A person who holds an office, not because he/she is elected to that post,
but by virtue of the fact that he/she holds another office.
16.7.1 Functions of Panchayati Raj Institutions
All panchayati raj institutions perform such functions as are specified in state laws relating
to panchayati raj. Generally speaking the functions are as under:
(i) Functions of Gram Panchayat
Some States distinguish between obligatory (compulsory) and optional functions of Gram
Panchayats while other States do not make this distinction. The civic functions relating to
sanitation, cleaning of public roads, drains and ponds, public toilets and lavatories, primary
health care, vaccination, supply of drinking water, constructing public wells, street lighting,
social health and primary and adult education, etc. are obligatory functions of village
panchayats. The optional functions depend on the resources of the panchayats. They may
or may not perform such functions as tree plantation on road sides, setting up of breeding
centres for cattle, organising child and maternity welfare, promotion of agriculture, etc.
After the 73
rd
Amendment, the scope of functions of Gram Panchayat was widened. Such
important functions like preparation of annual development plan of panchayat area, annual
budget, relief in natural calamities, removal of encroachment on public lands, implementation
MODULE - 3
Notes
173
Local Government: Urban and Rural
Structure of Government and monitoring of poverty alleviation programmes are now expected to be performed by
panchayats. Selection of beneficiaries through Gram Sabhas, public distribution system,
non-conventional energy source, improved Chullahs, bio-gas plants have also been given
to Gram Panchayats in some states.
(ii) Functions of Panchayat Samiti
Panchayat Samitis are at the hub of developmental activities. They are headed by Block
Development Officers (B.D.Os). Some functions are entrusted to them like agriculture,
land improvement, watershed development, social and farm forestry, technical and
vocational education, etc. The second type of functions relates to the implementation of
some specific plans, schemes or programmes to which funds are earmarked. It means
that a Panchayat Samiti has to spend money only on that specific project. The choice of
location or beneficiaries is, however, available to the Panchayat Samiti.
(iii) Functions of Zila Parishad
Zila Parishad links panchayat samitis within the district. It coordinates their activities and
supervises their functioning. It prepares district plans and integrates samiti plans into district
plans for submission to the State Government.
Zila Parishad looks after development works in the entire district. It undertakes schemes
to improve agricultural production, exploit ground water resources, extend rural electrification
and distribution and initiate employment generating activities, construct roads and other
public works.
It also performs welfare functions like relief during natural calamities and scarcity,
establishment of orphanages and poor homes, night shelters, welfare of women and children,
etc.
In addition, Zila Parishads perform functions entrusted to them under the Central and
State Government sponsored programmes. For example, Jawahar Rozgar Yojna is a big
centrally sponsored scheme for which money is directly given to the districts to undertake
employment-generating activities.
Intext Questions 16.2
Fill in the blanks :
1. The concept of panchayati raj was advocated by_______________
(Mahatma Gandhi/Jawaharlal Nehru/Sardar Patel)
2. Three-tier system was first advocated by the Committee headed by
_________________ .
(Ashok Mehta/Balwant Rai Mehta/Suresh Mehta)
3. The middle-tier of Panchayati Raj is __________________ .
(Zila Parishad/Panchayat Samiti/Gram Panchayat)
MODULE - 3
Notes
174
Political Science
Structure of Government
4. The 73
rd
Amendment has provided for a __________________ to regulate the
finances of local bodies.
(State Planning Board/State Election Commission/State Finance Commission)
5. The _________________ is responsible for co-ordinating developmental activities
in a Panchayat Samiti areas.
(District Magistrate/S.D.M./B.D.O.)
6. Petty disputes are settled in the rural areas by ________________
(Gram Panchayat/Nyaya Panchayat/Panchayat Samiti)
7. _________________ is the symbol of direct democracy.
(Gram Sabha/Gram Panchayat/Zila Parishad)
8. Chairpersons of Panchayat Samitis are ex-officio members of ________________.
(Nyaya Panchayat/Gram Sabha/Zila Parishad)
16.8 Sources of Income of Panchayats
Panchayats can discharge their functions efficiently only if they have sufficient financial
resources. For resources, panchayats depend mainly on grants from State Government.
They also have taxation powers and have some income from owned or vested assets.
They may get a share in the taxes, duties, tolls and fees that are levied and collected by the
State Government. Let us now see what financial resources panchayats have to perform
their functions.
(i) Gram Panchayat
In most States the power of levying taxes is vested in gram panchayats. House tax, tax on
cattle, immovable property, commercial crops, drainage tax, sanitation fee, tax on produce
sold in village, fee for supply of water to households, lighting tax are some of the taxes and
fees levied by panchayats. Panchayats can also levy entertainment tax on temporarily
stationed theatres, taxes on animals and non-mechanically propelled vehicles plied for
hire.
Gram panchayats also receive funds as income from property owned by them as common
grounds, jungles, cattle ground etc. The sale proceed of dung, refuse and carcasses (dead
bodies of animals) is also retained by gram panchayats. They also receive their share in
land revenue from the State.
(ii) Panchayat Samitis
Panchayat Samitis can impose tax on facilities provided by them as water for drinking or
irrigation purposes, lighting arrangements, tolls for bridges maintained by them. The property
of Panchayat Samitis includes public buildings, public roads constructed or maintained out
of their funds and all land or other property transferred to them by the government.
Panchayats receive income from the property vested in them. They also receive grants
from the State Governments. Funds are transferred by Zila Panchayats or State
MODULE - 3
Notes
175
Local Government: Urban and Rural
Structure of Government
Governments along with schemes to be implemented by the intermediate institutions of
panchayati raj.
Toll tax is charged from those who use a facility. Thus, those who pass over a bridge
may have a nominal amount of money as toll for the bridge.
(iii) Zila Parishads
Zila Parishads are also authorised to impose taxes. They may impose taxes on persons
carrying on business in rural areas for six months, taxes on brokers, commission agents in
markets established by them, also tax on sale of goods in these markets. Tax on land
revenue can also be imposed by Zila Parishads. When development schemes are entrusted
to them, necessary funds are also provided. They also receive grants from the State,
donations from charitable institutions, and may also raise loans.
16.9 Evaluation of Panchayati Raj
The concept of grassroots democracy at both rural and urban levels has not flourished in
the country. Some of the major reasons behind this failure are politicisation of administration,
entry of criminal elements in the elected bodies, rampant corruption, caste and group
division, priority to self interest over public welfare and electoral malpractices. The 73
rd
amendment seeks to radically alter the power relations in the villages by reserving seats
for scheduled castes, tribes, backward classes and women. However, in the absence of
proper education, training and economic independence, these groups are unable to assert
themselves. Illiteracy poverty and unemployment are the major handicaps. Urgent steps
need to be taken to effectively deal with these problems in order to facilitate participatory
development. Though the provision for reservation of seats for women has been manipulated
by their male counterparts – mostly their husbands – it has certainly empowered them to
some extent. They are increasingly becoming aware of their rights and responsibilities and
are asserting themselves in certain cases. This is definitely a very positive development.
The latest Constitutional Amendments have certainly broadened the financial resources of
the local self-governing institutions. However they still remain starved of funds. Taxation
powers have been given to them but they are unable to collect enough taxes. So due to
scarcity of resources, panchayats are not able to fulfil their role as self-governing institutions
or carriers of economic development in the countryside. Panchayats are subject to various
controls by the State Governments. The State Governments are authorised to cancel their
resolutions and even dissolve them. However the 73
rd
Constitutional Amendment has made
it compulsory for the States to hold election of panchayati raj bodies within six months of
their dissolution.
It is necessary that the people participate actively in democratically elected panchayats.
This can be ensured through Gram Sabhas. Through Gram Sabhas, the people can question
and demand explanation from panchayats. Gram Sabha can harmonise needs and priorities
of people and also plan direction of village development. The Gram Sabhas can successfully
play the role of securing democracy at the grassroots if they are endowed with sufficient
authority.
The overall socio-economic and cultural development of rural areas depends on strong
panchayats. Panchayats as the foundations of democracy at the grassroots can be
MODULE - 3
Notes
176
Political Science
Structure of Government
strengthened only by reposing faith in them, endowing them with adequate administrative
and financial powers and encouraging vigilance and active participation of the people.
Intext Questions 16.3
Select the correct answer from the brackets given at the end of each question:
1. Who receives income from the sale of dung, refuse and carcasses?
(Zila Parishad/Panchayat Samiti/Gram Panchayat)
2. What is a toll tax?
(Tax on the sale of public property/tax for the use of bridges or roads/tax on electricity)
3. By whom are the taxes imposed on commission agents?
(Zila Parishd/Panchayat Samiti/Nyaya Panchayat)
4. What was the aim of reservation of seats for Women, Scheduled Castes/Tribes and
other backward classes?
(To develop the economy/To alter the social structure of villages/To promote co-
operation)
5. Why are the panchayats unable to fulfil their role as self-governing institutions.
(Scarcity of resources/Lack of participation by the youth/Interference by political
class)
6. Which body can ensure participation of democratically elected representation.
(State Assembly/Zila Parishad/Gram Sabha)
What You Have Learnt
There are three types of urban local bodies: Municipal Corporations in big cities,
Municipalities in medium and small towns and Nagar Panchayats in semi-urban localities.
All types of urban local governments are democratically elected by the people on the basis
of electoral wards. Urban local bodies frame policies for the cities and towns, raise revenue
and pass their own budgets. The most important source of revenue of urban local bodies is
the property tax imposed on land and buildings. Grants-in-aid from the Government constitute
another
-
major source of revenue. Urban local government is the major supplier of essential
civic services and facilities in our urban areas and it represents grassroots democracy at
the local level.
Panchayat is the most ancient institution at the village level in our country. Panchayats
have been functioning as primary institutions of democracy at the grassroots level. The
73
rd
amendment gave them constitutional status. The task of rural development now rests
on panchayati raj institutions. The involvement of hitherto underprivileged sections, scheduled
castes, scheduled tribes, backward classes and women in the participatory process will
further strengthen the grassroots institutions.
MODULE - 3
Notes
177
Local Government: Urban and Rural
Structure of Government Although the panchayat raj system in the entire country is not the same but, by and large,
most of the States have the three-tier structure: zila parishad at the district level, panchayat
samiti at the intermediate or block level and gram panchayat at the bottom or village level.
Active participation and vigilance on the part of the rural public is a must for the sustenance
of democratic decentralisation.
Terminal Exercises
1. What is urban local government?
2. What were the major reforms introduced by the 74
th
Constitutional Amendment?
3. Identify the major functions of urban local bodies.
4. Mention the important sources of income of Urban Local Bodies.
5. Describe briefly the three-tier structure of Panchayati Raj.
6. Briefly discuss the salient features of the 73
rd
Amendment of the Constitution of
India.
7. Analyse the recommendations of the Balwant Rai Mehta Committee.
8. Evaluate the functioning of panchayats as grassroots institutions of democracy.
EXTENDED LEARNING
Read 73
rd
and 74
th
(Constitutional Amendment) Acts, 1992.
Visit a nearby panchayat, talk to the leaders and try to find out what the panchayat is doing
in the area. Also talk to the people and enquire whether they are aware of the panchayat
schemes and their functioning. What has been the role of the panchayat in the development
of your village or villages nearby.
Answers to Intext Questions
16.1
1. Municipal Corporation
2. One-third
3. Municipal Corporations and Committees
4. Five
5. Municipal Commissioner
6. Supply of drinking water
7. Property Tax
16.2
1. Mahatma Gandhi
MODULE - 3
Notes
178
Political Science
Structure of Government
2. Balwant Rai Mehta
3. Panchayat Samiti
4. State Finance Commission
5. B.D.O.
6. Nyaya Panchayat
7. Gram Sabha
8. Zila Parishad
16.3
1. Gram Panchayat
2. Tax for the use of bridges and roads
3. Zila Parishad
4. To alter the social structure of villages
5. Scarcity of resources
6. Gram Sabha
Hints for Terminal Exercises
1. Refer to Section 16.1
2. Refer to Section 16.2
3. Refer to Section 16.4
4. Refer to Section 16.4.1
5. Refer to Section 16.7
6. Refer to Section 16.5.2
7. Refer to Section 16.5.1
8. Refer to Section 16.9
MODULE - 3
Notes
179
Local Government: Urban and Rural
Structure of Government
SENIOR SECONDARY COURSE
POLITICAL SCIENCE
STUDENT’S ASSIGNMENT – 1
Maximum Marks: 100 Time : 3 Hours
INSTRUCTIONS
Answer All the questions on a seperate sheet of paper
Give the following information on your answer sheet:
Name
Enrolment Number
Subject
Assignment Number
Address
Get your assignment checked by the subject teacher at your Study Centre so that you get positive feedback
about your performance.
Do not send your assignment to NIOS
1. Give the definition of Political Science as given by Garner. 2
2. Mention the word from which the term ‘Politics’ has been derived. Write its meaning. 2
3. Mention any one distinction between Political Science and Politics. 2
4. State any two civil rights of the citizen. 2
5. What is liberty? 2
6. Give the meaning of nation or nationality. 2
7. Define the term Sovereignty. 2
8. Mention the cardinal idea of the French Revolution. 2
9. What do the Marxist’s mean by the words ‘Dictatorship of the Proletrait’. 2
10. State the meaning of ‘Satyagraha.’ 2
11. Give any two definitions of politics as the study of power. 4
12. Mention two distinctions between state and government. 4
13. Why do we need the state ? Give any two reasons. 4
14. Explain the liberal view of the state. 4
15. Write the meaning of a classless and stateless society. 4
16. Why did Gandhi regard ‘ends and means’ as the two sides of the same coin? 4
17. Briefly describe the scope of Political Science. 4
18. Explain the term ‘justice’ and mention its various dimensions 4
19. What is a State? Briefly explain its essential elements. 4
20. Write any two elements of nationality. 2 +2 = 4
21. Mention the changing meaning of Political Science. 8
22. What is nationality? Distinguish between State and Nation. 2+6
23. Define liberalism. Explain any three tenets of liberalism. 2+6
24 What is Marxism? Is Marxism relevant today? 2+6
25. What is meant by Gandhism? Explain Gandhi’s role as the critic of the western civilization. 8
180
Curriculum of Senior Secondary Course in Political Science
Rationale
Study of human society is not as simple as is generally believed. Society is a complex network of social
relations. The individuals entering these relationships are in perpetual change. Therefore, every society searches
for an order and also mechanisms to cope with these changes. Emergence of the state or political order is a
party of this complex process. The concerns of political order and the way it carries those functions and the
problems that it faces are of universal concern. The concerns of political order have further increased with the
new role viz. changing the large socio-economic order so as to improve the living conditions. Political Science
deals with this vital domain of the society, keeping in mind the changed scenario.
The subject of Political Science seeks to enable the students to gain critical awareness about the political
institutions which govern their lives. These institutions are created to maintain peace, order and co-operation,
which would otherwise be threatened by conflicts over socio-ethnic identities or religious beliefs, etc.
This course seeks to impart knowledge about political institutions which operate at the village, city, district,
national and global levels. Thus, segments of the course deal with nation-state, panchayati raj, district
administration, central and state governments as well as United Nations and World Order. It also deals with
problems, issues, concerns and political processes that arise in the working of the system.
The Political Science syllabus deals not only with political institutions but also with the political ideas. Those
ideas deal with the nature, needs, competence, partaining to justice, liberty, equality, rights, obligations etc. of
the people. They also deal with the requirements, responsibilites and limits of political authority. Thus, the study
of Political Science is concerned with the role and responsibilities of governmental agencies at various levels.
Political Science focuses on the study of the state, nation, society, government etc. In this course for the
National Institute of Open Schooling this primary focus remained at the background as well as was the
reference point. The attempt is is to strenthen the intellectual capabilites of the students not only to appreciate
the theoretical concerns but their application in the concrete context. For this purpose, Indian Political system
and its unfolding experience is incorporated in this syllabus.
The subject-matter primarily deals with four important aspects: (i) the theoretical framework; (ii) the Indian
constitutional framework with a focus on the institutions and organs of the government; (iii) the processes and
practices flowing from the constitution in action; and (iv) our relationship with the world outside.
Course Objectives
To develop in the learners an interest in the theory and principles of Political Science.
To provide an understanding of the underlying philosophy and the logic of the Indian Constitution.
To expose the learner to the institutions and organs through which the power is structured and exercised.
To develop among learners an insight into various political processes and practices.
To sensitise the learners to the democratic values and emerging national and global concerns so as to
enable them to become responsible citizens and agents of democratic governance.
To acquaint learners with attitudes and values necessary for healthy civic and political life.
Course Structure
The present curriculum in Political Science has been divided into six core modules namely, Individual and the
State, Aspects of the Constitution of India., Structure of Government, Democracy at work, Major Contemporary
181
Issues, as well as India and the World. Besides, the learners have to choose any one out of the two Optional
Modules namely, (i) World order and the United Nations, and (ii) Administrative System in India. Each module
has been divided further in the units and then into lessons.
The number of lessons suggested study time and marks allotted for each unit are as follows :
Unit-wise Distribution of Core Modules Number of Study Marks allotted
Lessons hours to each to each
Unit modules
Module 1 : Individual and the State 30
1.1 Sphere of Politics 1 7 2
1.2 Nation, State and the Government 2 16 7 14
1.3 Major Political Theories 1 7 5
Module 2 : Aspects of the Constitution of India 35
2.1 The Preamble and the Salient Features 1 7 2
2.2 Rights, Duties and Directive Principles
of State Policy 2 14 5 15
2.3 Federalism and Emergency Provisions 2 14 8
Module 3 : Structure of Government 50
3.1 Union Government 3 21 8 17
3.2 State Government 3 21 7
3.3 Local Government 1 8 2
Module 4 : Democrace at work 35
4.1 Election in India 2 14 4 12
4.2 Political Parties and Pressure Groups 3 21 8
Module 5 : Major Contemporary Issues 35
5.1 Communalism; Caste and Reservations 1 9 5
5.2 Environmental Awareness 1 8 4 15
5.3 Good Governance 1 9 2
5.4 Human Rights 1 9 4
Module 6 : India and the World 25
6.1 India’s Foreign Policy and India’s Role 1 9 4
6.2 India’s relations with USA and Russia 1 8 4 12
6.3 India and its neighbors-China, Pakistan and 1 8 4
Sri Lanka
182
Optional Modules (The learner have to choose any one of the following modules)
Units wise Distribution of Core Modules Number Study Marks allotted
of hours to each to each
Lesson Unit modules
Module 1 : World Order and the United Nations 30
1.1 Contemporary World Order 1 8 2
1.2 United Nations : Principal Organs and their
Functions 1 8 5
1.3 United Nations Peace and Development Activities 2 14 8 15
o r OR OR OR OR
Module 2 : Administrative System in India
1.1 Public Service Commission : Union and States 1 8 5
1.2 Administrative Machinery at the Center, States 15
and District level 1 8 2
1.3 Political Executive, Bureaucracy & Redressal 2 14 8
of Public Grievances
Total 240 hrs. 100
Course Description
Module 1 : Individual and the State
Approach : This module aims at acquainting the learners with the concept and their meaning such as politics
and Political Science. It seeks to familiarize the learners with various concepts related to citizen, nation, state
and government. The module also emphasizes upon the major political theories so that an understanding could
be developed among learners about Liberalism, Marxism and Gandhism.
1.1 Sphere of Politics
• Distinction between Politics and Political Science
• Concepts of citizen, society, state and nations
1.2 Nation, State and Government
• Concept of nation
• State : meaning and elements
• Distinction between society, nation, state and government
1.3 Major Political Theories
• Liberalism
• Marxism
• Gandhism
Supportive Audio/Video Programme
• Major political theories
183
Module 2 : Aspects of the Constitution of India
Approach : This module aims at giving an understanding of the ideals and principles that have been incorporated
in the Preamble of the Indian Constitution. It has also been designed to develop among learners an insight into
the Fundamental Rights and Duties enshrined in the Constitution. It highlights the importance of Fundamental
Duties in a citizens’ life. Learners are expected to understand the directions and instructions given in the
Constitution to the governments, whether Union or States, to follow while framing policies and programmes.
These constitutional directions are aimed at establishing a welfare State in India. Further, the module explains
how various features of federalism are incorporated in the centre state relationship. Besides, through this
module learners are given an understanding of the emergency provisions to meet any national crisis situation.
2.1 The Preamble and the Salient Features
• The Constituent Assembly
• The Preamble
• Salient Features
Supportive Audio/Video Programme
• An audio programme bringing out the ideals and principles enshrined in the Preamble.
2.2 Rights, Duties and Directive Principles of State Policy
• Fundamental Rights
• Fundamental Duties
• Directive Principles of State Policy
Supportive Audio/Video Programme
• A film identifying and explaining the Fundamental Rights :
• A film identifying and explaining the ten fundamental duties (Article 51 A).
2.3 Federalism and Emergency Provisions
• Federalism in India
• Centre-State Relations
• Emergency Provisions
Supportive Audio and Video Programme
• Right to Equality
• Right to Freedom
• Right to Freedom of Religions
• Right against Exploitation
• Cultural and Educational Rights
• Right to Constitutional Remedies
184
Module 3 : Structure of Government
Approach : The purpose of this module is to acquaint the learner with the three organs of government at the
Union and State levels in India and their functionaries. The module also deals with structure and functions of
Panchayati Raj System and Urban Local Government.
3.1 Union Government
• President, Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers
• Parliament : Composition of the two Houses, their functions and relationship
• Supreme Court : Structure and jurisdiction, Judicial Review and PIL
Supportive Audio/Video Programme
• A film showing the parliamentary procedure as actually staged in a youths parliament by a
shcool or institution
3.2 State Government
• Governor, Chief Minister and the Council of Ministers
• State Legislature : Composition and functions
• High Courts, subordinate courts and Lok Adalat
3.3 Local Government
• Panchayati Raj System
• Urban local-government
Supportive Audio/Video Programme
• An audio programme explains the Panchayati Raj System
Module 4 : Democracy at work
Approach : This module has been designed to bring awareness about the functioning of democracy in India.
It seeks to impart information about the electoral system in the country. It also highlights the importance of
universal adult franchise and the role of political parties both at the national and the regional level in making the
Indian democracy a success. It throws light on the importance and role of Election Commission in conducting
free and fair elections in the country.
4.1 Election in India
• Universal Adult Franchise and Methods of Representation
• Election Commission-Composition, Functions and Role
• Electoral Process and Electoral Reforms
Supportive Audio/Video Programme
• A film showing elections in India – filling nomination till the declaration of results.
• Regionalism and Regional Parties
• Pressure Groups
• Public Opinion and the Media
Supportive Audio/Video Programme
• An audio explaining policies and programmes of major political parties (national parties only)
185
Module 5 : This module provides the learners an opportunity to reflect on various emerging national and
global concerns. Under the module the concerns and issues that are included are communalism, caste and
reservation, environmental awareness, good governance and human rights.
5.1 Communalism, Caste and Reservations
• Meaning, causes and impact of Communalism
• Casteism in Indian Politics
• Policy and Politics of Reservation
Supportive Audio/Video Programme
• An audio programme bringing out the nature of the problems pertaining to communalism in India.
5.2 Environmental Awareness
• Environmental Degradation
• Environmental protection efforts, governmental and non-governmental
5.3 Good Governance
• Concept of Good Governance
• Hindrances to Good Governance
• Measures towards Good Governance
Supportive Audio/Video Programme
• an audio programme highlighting corruption and population growths as hindrances to good
governances.
5.4 Human Rights
• Meaning and development of Human Rights
• Violations of Human Rights
• Measures to protect Human Rights
Supportive Audio/Video Programme
• An audio programmes on the nature and significance of Human Rights, and highlighting human
rights violations in India.
Module 6 : This module has been designed to make the learners aware of India’s foreign policy and its
increasing role in World politics. This module explains the objectives and principles of India’s foreign policy. It
also explains India’s role in the United Nations and its committment to world peace through this international
forum i.e. United Nation. This module also analyses India’s relations with two major powers viz. U.S.A. and
Russia and also with three of her neighbours i.e. China, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
6.1 • Aims and principles of India’s Foreign Policy
• Non-alignment in India’s Foreign Policy
• India’s role in the UN
Supportive Audio/Programme
• An audio programme highlighting major principles of India’s foreign policy and bringing out a
discussion on some major foreign policy issues such as Kashmir and the nuclear policy.
6.2 India’s relations with USA and Russia
• India’s relations with USA
186
• India with Russia relations
6.3 India and its neighbors-China, Pakistan and Sri Lanka
• Major issues in India-China relations
• India-Pakistan relations
• India-Sri Lanka relations
Optional Module 1 : World Order and the United Nations
Approach : This module has been designed to enable the learners to understand the postcold war contemporary
world order. The learners will also be introduced to the role and working of the United Nations and its principal
organs. It also explains the peaceactivities of the United Nations. The module also highlights significance of
major United Nations agencies as instruments of socio-economic development.
1.1 Contemporary World Order
• Bi-polarity, unipolarity and multipolarity
• Wars, violence and terrorism
• Economic inequalities and globalisation
1.2 United Nations : Principle organs and their Functions
• Purposes and Principles of United Nations
• Major organs and their functions
Supportive Audio/Video Programme
• A film on the principle organs of the United Nations and their functions.
1.3 United Nations Peace and Development Activities
• United Nations activities for peace
• Agencies concerned with Soci-Economic Development
Supportive Audio/Video Programme
• A film on some major United Nations agencies and their role.
Optional Module 2 : Administrative System in India
Approach : This module provides an understanding of the administrative system in India by focusing firstly on
the founding or Public Service Commissions at the Union and State levels and secondly analysing the
administrative machinery at the centre, state and district levels. The module also deals with the role of
bureaucracy, its relationship with the political executive and mechanism for redressel of public grievances.
1.1 Public Service Commission : Union and States
• Significance of Civil Services
• UPSC, State PSCs and Joint PSCs
Supportive Audio/Video Programme
1.2 Administrative machinery at the Center, States and District level
• An audio programme on the role and importance of Public Service Commissions in India-at the
central and state levels.
1.2 Administrative machinery at the Center, States and District level
• Prime Minister’s Office and Central Secretariat
• State Secretariat
187
• District Administration
Supportive Audio/Video Programme
• An audio programme explain of the adminstrative machinery at the centre, states and district
levels.
1.3 Political Executive and Bureaucracy and Redressal of Public Grievances
• Role of Bureaucracy in Development
• Relationship between Bureaucracy and Political Executive
• Administrative reforms and redressal of public grievances
Scheme of Evaluation
The learners will be evaluated through Public Examination and through continuous and comprehensive
evaluation in the form of Tutor Marked Assignments (TMA’s).
Mode of Evaluation Duration Marks Paper
Public/Final Examination 3 Hours 100 1
TMA-I or TMA-II Self - paced 25
TMA-III (Compulsory) Self - paced 25
The awards/grades of TMA will be reflected in the marksheet separately. This will not be considered for
inclusion in overall grading in the Public Examination
188
MODULE - 4
Notes
189
Universal Adult Franchise and The Methods of Representation
Democracy at Work
17
UNIVERSAL ADULT FRANCHISE
AND THE METHODS OF
REPRESENTATION
n an earlier lesson, you have studied that the opening words of the Preamble to the Indian
Constitution are: “We, the people of India”. What do these words signify? These words
mean that the ultimate authority resides in the people themselves. People exercise authority
through the representatives elected by them. These representatives conduct the functions
of the government in accordance with the wishes of the people. People govern themselves
through their elected representatives. In a country which is vast and has a large population,
the establishment of direct democracy is an impossible task, except in some cases at the
local level of governance. That is why all modern democracies have representative
governments, that is governments elected by the people. In these democracies all adults
have the right to elect their representatives. The right to vote is called franchise, or suffrage.
Objectives
After studying this lesson, you will be able to
comprehend the meaning of universal adult franchise;
explain the significance of universal adult franchise;
recall that the minimum age for the right to vote differs from country to country;
recall that in India minimum voting age is 18 years;
identify the various methods of representation.
17.1 Meaning and Significance of Adult Franchise
The right of the people to vote and elect their representatives is called franchise. The
word franchise is derived from the French word ‘franc’ which means ‘free’. It means
I
MODULE - 4
Notes
190
Political Science
Democracy at Work free exercise of the right to choose one’s representatives. Adult franchise means that the
right to vote should be given to all adult citizens without the discrimination of caste, class,
colour, religion or sex.
It is based on equality which is a basic principle of democracy. It demands that the right to
vote should be equally available among all. To deny any class of persons from exercising
this right is to violate their right to equality. In fact, the spirit of democracy can be maintained
only if the people are given the right to vote without any discrimination. The exercise of
right to vote adds to the individual’s self-respect, dignity, sense of responsibility, and political
and civic education. In other words, the system of adult franchise is the bedrock of a
democratic system. People are called political sovereign because they possess the right to
vote a government into power, or to vote a government out of power. That is why democracy
has sometimes been described as a mode of appointing, controlling and dismissing governments
by the people.
As provided for, in the Constitution of the land, the citizens cast their votes at regular
intervals to elect their representatives to the Parliament, to the Legislative Assemblies, and
such other institutions as are essential organs of political power in a democracy. These
institutions are called representative institutions precisely because they represent the will
of the peoples.
17.2 Universal Adult Franchise: Its Evolution
Historically, adult franchise has been slow in making itself a universal law. In fact one of
the major demands in the long-drawn struggle for democracy in the world has been the
acceptance of the principle of universal adult franchise, as the basis of ascertaining the
wishes of people. Till the second decade of the twentieth century, not all the countries
were practising universal adult franchise. Many democratic systems had restricted to male
franchise only, based on property, education and other qualifications.
It is interesting to note that most of the western countries, which are known for their long
experience of some sort of representative system of governance, introduced adult franchise
only in the wake of the First World War (1914 – 18), a war which was proclaimed to be
fought by the Allied Powers (Great Britain, France and United States and the allies) to
make the ‘world safe for democracy’. But while the ‘defeated’ Germany incorporated the
People standing in queue for casting their vote
MODULE - 4
Notes
191
Universal Adult Franchise and The Methods of Representation
Democracy at Work
principle of universal adult franchise in 1919, it took nine more years for Great Britain to
extend franchise to women in 1928. In 1918, Britain had granted franchise to limited
number of women. It was decided that while all adult men, 21 years of age and above
would have the right to vote, women only above the age of 30 years could possess the
right to vote. This discrimination was removed only in 1928.
France, the land that gave the popular slogans of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity, could
introduce the right of universal adult franchise to its people only after the end of the
Second World War i.e. 1945. Equally strange is the fact that Switzerland, the home of
direct democracy denied the right to vote to women till 1973. India adopted the principle of
universal adult franchise when the present Constitution was enacted in 1949 which as you
know was implemented on January 26, 1950.
Age of voting
The voting age varies from country to country. In Denmark and Japan, a person, man or
woman, is entitled to vote after attaining the age of 25 years. In Norway, the age limit is
23, in Great Britain, the United States, Russia and Turkey it is 18. In Switzerland, it is 20
years. In our country, now the minimum age for exercising franchise is 18 years. The 61
st
Amendment Act of 1989 lowered the voting age from 21 to 18 years. There are certain
qualifications prescribed for a voter in India. As you have already read, a voter:
must be a citizen of India,
must have attained 18 years of age,
must not be of unsound mind,
must not have been declared bankrupt by a competent court.
Intext Questions 17.1
1. Universal Adult Franchise means the enjoyment of the right to vote by:
a) all adults – both men and women
b) only men
c) only women
d) minors
2. Who among the following do not have the right to vote?
a) minors
b) aliens
c) persons who are of unsound mind/lunatics
d) all the above
3. The minimum age for voting in India is
a) 16 years
b) 18 years
MODULE - 4
Notes
192
Political Science
Democracy at Work c) 21 years
d) 25 years
4. Switzerland introduced Universal Adult Franchise in the year
a) 1914
b) 1945
c) 1928
d) 1971
17.3 Methods of Representation
Universal adult franchise enables all citizens to be involved in the governance of their
state. They do so by electing their representatives who govern to serve and protect the
interests of the people. There are two main methods of electing representatives. These
are known as Territorial and Functional representation.
Territorial Representation
This is the most popular method of electing representatives in most of the democratic
countries. In this system all eligible voters living in a specified area vote to elect their
representative. The total electorate of the country, irrespective of their profession or group
is divided into territorial constituencies, which elect one or more representatives. The
entire population is devided into constituencies with more or less equal number of voters.
Functional Representation
Functional representation means that representatives are elected by various professional
and functional groups like – industrial workers, trading functionaries, medical practitioners,
lawyers, teachers, transporters, etc. According to this method separate constituencies are
set up for people belonging to specific group. For example, there may be a constituency of
teachers who elect their representative.
The electorate is professionally or functionally categorised and each of professional
categories is called upon to elect one or more representatives, irrespective of their place
of residence in the country. Unlike the territorial representation the electorate is not divided
on the basis of territorial constituencies but on the basis of their profession. It is a scheme
of representation to various occupational groups.
Constituency
A body of voters who elect a representative is known as constituency. The body of voters
may belong to a particular geographical area. The constituencies for Lok Sabha and
Assembly elections consist of voters of respective areas. But the constituency for the
election of President of India consists of the Members of Parliament and State Assemblies.
There may be single-member constituency or multi-member constituency.
Single Member Constituency When only one member is elected from a constituency, it is
known as single member constituency. For Lok Sabha elections the whole of India is
divided into 543 single member constituencies. Out of these 543 constituencies, every
state and Union Territory has a share of certain number of constituencies. The system of
MODULE - 4
Notes
193
Universal Adult Franchise and The Methods of Representation
Democracy at Work
single member constituency is adopted in India, Britain, US, Canada, Russia, Australia,
Nepal and Pakistan.
Multi-Member Constituency This system is also known as the ‘General Ticket System’.
When more than one candidate are elected from a constituency, it is called a multi-member
constituency. Such constituencies exist in Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden and Italy.
According to this system, the whole country is divided into large constituencies and from
each constituency many representatives are elected. The political parties get the seats in
proportion to the votes they secure in concerned constituencies.
In a multi-member constituency, usually the method of proportional representation is adopted.
For being elected, a candidate has to achieve a fixed quota of votes. The voters have to
vote for as many representatives as are to be elected from their respective constituencies.
They indicate their order of preferences against the names of candidates. We will discuss
the details of their method when we study proportional representation.
People, therefore, exercise their right to vote according to electoral system adopted in
their respective countries. we shall discuss below the most important systems.
17.4 Simple Majority System
Simple majority system means that in case of a single-member constituency, the person or
the candidate getting the highest number of votes is declared elected. The result is decided
by the majority of votes secured by a candidate. Many a time in this system, there is a
multi-cornered contest, as the number of candidates is more than two. There are cases
where four or five or even more than five candidates contest. In such a situation, a candidate
with even less than 50 percent of the total votes gets elected. Such cases are very often
found in India, and elsewhere. The system of simple majority system is prevalent in Britain,
USA, Canada and some other countries.
This simple majority system is also called the first past the post system. Members of our
Lok Sabha and the State Assemblies are elected by this system.
17.5 Proportional Representation System
The system of proportional representation is an electoral device to ensure representation
of all sections of the people more or less in proportion to their voting strength. Under this
system any group, whether it is a political party or interest group will secure representation
in proportion to the popular votes it obtains.
J.S. Mill was an ardent advocate of proportional representation. He said, “In any really
equal democracy every or any section would be represented not disproportionately, but
proportionately. A majority of the electors would always have a majority of representatives;
but a minority of electors would always have a minority of representatives.” This system
ensures that the number of seats a political party gets in the legislature should be in proportion
to the support of the popular votes. Sometimes in the simple majority system it is seen that
a party gets more seats in the legislature even though it receives less percentage of votes
or a candidate with even less than 50 percent of votes is declared elected. For instance, in
India, in 1971 Lok Sabha elections, Congress polled only 46 percent votes yet it managed
351 seats out of 522. That is, even with less than 50 percent votes, Congress won 68
percent of the seats in the Lok Sabha. This limitation of the first-past-the-post system may
MODULE - 4
Notes
194
Political Science
Democracy at Work be removed through proportional representation system. There are two methods by which
proportional representation is secured.
1. The Single Transferable Vote System
It is also called the Hare system or the Andrae Scheme. According to the single transferable
vote system each voter can cast only one vote which can be transferred to other candidates,
if necessary, according to the preference of the voter. Therefore, this system is also called
the preferential system.
This system works under following conditions:
(a) Every constituency should be a multi-member constituency, electing three or more
members.
(b) A voter has only single effective vote which may be cast in order of preference –
first, second, third or as many preferences as there are candidates. The voter writes
1, 2, 3 and so on against the names of the candidates of his choice.
(c) But the voter cannot cast all his preferences in favour of only one candidate.
(d) In order to be elected, a candidate must secure a certain quota of votes. The quota
is determined by dividing the total votes cast by the number of seats in the constituency.
Total number of votes polled
Quota 1
Total number of seats in the constituency
= +
For instance, if the number of seats in a constituency is 3 and total number of votes cast is
20,000. The quota will be
The counting of votes begins with the first preference votes. A candidate securing the
prescribed quota on the basis of the first preference votes is declared elected, and his
surplus votes, if any, are transferred to the candidates having second preference indicated
on the ballot papers and so on.
If one or more seats are left vacant because some candidates do not secure the required
quota, the candidates getting least number of votes are eliminated and their votes are
transferred according to the preferences of the voters.
This system has been adopted in India for the election of the members of the Rajya Sabha
and State Legislative Councils. This method is also followed for the election of President
of India.
2. List System
This is another method of proportional representation. Under this system, large multi-
member constituencies are formed and many candidates are elected from each
constituency. Each political party submits a list of its candidates for election from a particular
constituency. A voter votes not to individuals but to the lists of candidates of different
political parties. These votes are indivisible. If 4 representatives are to be elected from the
MODULE - 4
Notes
195
Universal Adult Franchise and The Methods of Representation
Democracy at Work constituency, the voter has no option to cast 2 votes on one list and 2 on the other list. The
voter has to select all the four candidates from either of the list.
A quota is determined, and the candidates are declared elected according to the quota of
votes secured by policital parties. A party entitled to three seats, according to the quota
will declare the first three candidates on its list elected. There are two forms of list system
– the ‘bound list’ and the ‘free list’. In ‘bound list’ a voter has no choice except to endorse
or reject the entire list of candidates prepared by a political party. But, in a free list, the
voter while selecting the list can give his or her own order of preferences for the candidates.
List system is followed for elections in Switzerland.
17.6 Other Minority Representation System
Apart from proportional representation, some other electoral methods have also been
devised to ensure adequate representation to the minority groups in the legislature. These
systems of minority representation are as follows:
(1) Cumulative Vote System: According to this system a voter has as many votes as
the number of seats in the constituency. The voters has options. He or she can cast
vote for all the candidates or concentrate all his or her votes for just one candidate.
For example, if 5 members are to be elected, the voter may give his or her vote to
only one candidate or distribute it among a few or all candidates. This system, therefore,
may provide an opportunity to a well organised minority to elect its representative by
cumulating all its votes in favour of its own candidate.
(2) Limited Vote Plan: This system is adopted in a multi-member constituency from
where a minimum of 3 candidates are to be elected. Under this system every voter
can vote for more than one candidate, but he or she cannot vote for all the candidates.
That is why, it is known as the limited vote system. For example, if there are 6 seats
in a constituency, every voter will have right to vote only for 4 candidates. The voter
has to vote for different candidates of his or her choice, but he or she cannot vote for
more than 4 candidates.
17.7 The Second Ballot System
In election, if there are only two candidates contesting election for a single seat, the one
who secures a clear majority (at least 50 percent + 1) is declared elected. But when there
are more than two candidates, it may be the case that none of the candidates secures an
absolute majority. In this case, second ballot is held, which means votes are again cast
after a few days. In this second ballot only two candidates, who had secured maximum
number of votes in the first poll remain in the field. After voting, one who secures more
than 50 percent of votes is declared elected.
For example, in a constituency, three candidates are contesting election. The total number
of votes polled are 12,000. Candidate A secures 5000 votes, candidate B secures 4000
votes, and candidate C secures 3000 votes. In such a situation no candidate gets absolute
majority, that is 6001 votes. This necessitates holding of a second ballot. The candidate (in
this case, candidate C) who has secured least number of votes is dropped. As such, the
contest now remains between A and B. If B secures majority at the second poll then B
and not A will be declared successful. This system is practiced in France for the election
of President and the National Assembly.
MODULE - 4
Notes
196
Political Science
Democracy at Work
Intext Questions 17.2
Fill in the blanks :
1. The first-past-the-post system is commonly known as _________________.
2. The multi-member constituency is also known as the ________ system.
3. In India, the elections to Lok Sabha and Legislative Assemblies are held on the basis
of ______________ system.
4. The methods by which proportional representation is secured are ____________
and _______________.
5. Electoral methods to ensure adequate representation to the minority groups in the
legislature are called _____________ and ____________.
What You Have Learnt
In this lesson you have learnt that universal adult franchise is the foundation of a
representative democracy. It means that each man or woman after attaining a prescribed
age (such as 18 years in India) is entitled to vote in the elections without any discrimination
on grounds of caste, creed, religion, language or sex. The citizens exercise their right to
vote in order to choose their representatives in elections. Elections are, in fact, the bedrock
of democracy and express the sovereign will of the people through the exercise of their
free and equal vote.
You have also learnt that there are two alternative systems of representation – Territorial
and Functional. Under the territorial system, the country is divided into territorial
constituencies and voters of each constituency elect their representatives. Territorial system
is quite popular, and in India, the elections to Lok Sabha and Legislative Assemblies are
held on territorial basis. Functional representation implies that the people elect their
representatives on the basis of their different occupational and professional affiliations.
Thus, teachers, managers, industrialists, traders, workers, etc. elect their respective
representatives.
The simple majority system in usually followed is single-member constituencies where the
candidate simply securing the highest number of votes is declared elected. This system
does not ensure adequate representation to all sections of the electorate. The system of
proportional representation is followed to provide representation to the minorities in
proportion to their voting strength. Minority representation is also secured through some
other methods such as cumulative vote system and limited vote plan.
Terminal Exercises
1. Explain the meaning and significance of Universal Adult Franchise.
2. What is a simple majority system? Explain.
3. Describe the system of proportional representation. What are the two methods of
ensuring proportional representation?
MODULE - 4
Notes
197
Universal Adult Franchise and The Methods of Representation
Democracy at Work
4. Explain the methods of securing minority representation other than the proportional
representation.
Answers to Intext Questions
17.1
(1) (a)
(2) (d)
(3) (b)
(4) (d)
17.2
1. Simple Majority System
2. General Ticket System
3. Territorial
4. Single Transferable Vote System and List System
5. Cumulative vote system and Limited vote plan.
Hints for Terminal Exercises
1. Refer to Section 17.1.
2. Refer to Section 17.4.
3. Refer to Section 17.5.
4. Refer to Section 17.6.


What are the reasons for changes that occur in the body before attaining
adulthood?

These changes happen because of changes in the natural chemicals in the
body called hormones. Both boys and girls have hormones but they have
different amounts of different hormones. That is why some of the changes
that take place are different for girls and boys

Let us ponder over adolescence issues
MODULE - 4
Notes
198
Political Science
Structure of Government
18
ELECTORAL SYSTEM IN INDIA
lections enable every adult citizen of the country to participate in the process of
government formation. You must have observed that elections are held in our country
frequently. These include elections to elect members of the Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha,
State Legislative Assemblies (Vidhan Sabhas) Legislative Councils (Vidhan Parishad) and
of, President and Vice-President of India. Elections are also held for local bodies such as
municipalities, municipal corporations and Panchayati Raj justifications. If you have attained
the age of 18, you must have voted in some of these elections. If not, you will have the
opportunity to vote in the next round of elections. These elections are held on the basis of
universal adult franchise, which means all Indians of 18 years of age and above have the
right to vote, irrespective of their caste, colour, religion, sex or place of birth.
Election is a complex exercise. It involves schedules rules and machinery. This lesson will
give you a clear picture of the voting procedure, as also about filing of nominations, their
scrutiny and the campaigns carried out by the parties and the candidates before actual
polling. In this lesson you will read about the Election Commission, electoral system in
India and also some suggestions for electoral reforms.
Objectives
After studying this lesson, you will be able to
describe the composition of the Election Commission of India;
enumerate the functions the Election Commission and explain its role;
recall the procedure of election from the announcement of schedule, to the declaration
of the result;
mention various stages in the electoral process;
recognise the poll-related officers and describe their functions;
identify the drawbacks and need for electoral reforms;
suggest the electoral reforms and those already carried on.
E
MODULE - 4
Notes
199
Electoral System in India
Structure of Government
18.1 Election Commission of India
The architects of the Indian Constitution attached special significance to an independent
electoral machinery for the conduct of elections. The Constitution of India provides for an
Election Commission of India which is responsible for superintendence direction and control
of all elections. It is responsible for conducting elections to both the Houses of Parliament
and State Legislatures and for the offices of President and Vice-President. Besides, it is
also responsible for the preparation revision, updation and maintenance of lists of voters. It
delimits constituencies for election to the Parliament and the State Legislatures, fixes the
election programme and settles election disputes. It performs many other functions related
to elections.
18.1.1 Composition
The Election Commission consists of the Chief Election Commissioner and such other
Election Commissioners as may be decided by the President from time to time. Ever since
the first Chief Election Commissioner was appointed in 1950, there was no other Election
Commissioner till 1989. The Chief Election Commissioner was assisted by a larger number
of officials. The Election Commission became a multi-member body on 16 October 1989
when the President appointed two more Election Commissioners. The senior of the two
Election Commissioners is appointed as the Chief Election Commissioner.
18.1.2 Tenure and Removal
Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners are appointed for a term
of six years, or till the age of 65 whichever is earlier. It is important that Chief Election
Commissioner and other Election Commissioners should be free from all political
interferences. Therefore, even if they are appointed by the President, they cannot be
removed by him. And no changes can be brought in the conditions of service and the
tenure of office after their appointment. The Chief Election Commissioner cannot be
removed from office, except on the grounds and in the manner on which the Supreme
Court judges can be removed. However, since the other Election Commissioners and the
Regional Election Commissioners work under the Chief Commissioner, they may be
removed by the President on his recommendations.
18.2 Powers and Functions of The Election Commission
The primary function of the Election Commission is to conduct free and fair elections in
India. For this purpose, the Election Commission has the following functions:
18.2.1 Delimitation of Constituencies
To facilitate the process of elections, a country has to be divided into several constituencies.
Constituency It is territorial area from where a candidate contests elections
The task of delimiting constituencies is generally performed by the Delimitation Commission
consisting of five serving or retired judges of the Supreme Court and the Chief Election
Commissioner who is its ex-officio member. All secretarial assistance (at all levels, national,
state, district) is provided to the Delimitation Commission by the Election Commission.
The Delimitation Commission is constituted by the Government from time to time.
MODULE - 4
Notes
200
Political Science
Structure of Government 18.2.2 Preparation of Electoral Rolls
Each constituency has a comprehensive list of voters. It is known as the Electoral Roll, or
the Voters’ List. The Commission prepares the Electoral Roll for Parliament as well as
Legislative Assembly elections. The Electoral Roll of every constituency contains the
names of all the persons who have right to vote in that constituency. The electoral roll is
also revised from time to time generally before every general election, by-election and
mid-term election in the constituency.
General Election Election to constitute a new Lok Sabha or Assembly is
called General Election.
By-Election If at any time there is a mid-term vacancy due to the death
or resignation of a member either in Lok Sabha or
Legislative Assembly only one seat falls vacant. The
election for that seat is known as by-election.
Mid-term Election If the Lok Sabha or State Assembly is dissolved before
completion of five years and the election is held to constitute
new Lok Sabha or new State Assembly, etc. is called mid-
term election.
The revision is carried out from house to house by the enumerators appointed by Election
Commission and all eligible voters are registered. A person can be registered as a voter if
he/she fulfils the following conditions:
1. He/she is a citizen of India.
2. He/she is 18 years of age.
3. He/she is resident of the constituency.
18.2.3 Recognition of Political Parties
One of the important functions of the Election Commission is to recognise political parties
as all India (National) or State (Regional) Political Parties. If in a general election, a
particular party gets four percent of the total valid votes polled in any four states it is
recognised as an all India (National) Party. If a party gets four percent of the total valid
votes in a state, it is recognized as a State or regional party. (You will read in details about
Political Parties in the following Lesson No.19). The Indian National Congress, the Bharatiya
Janata Party (BJP), the Communist Party of India (CPI), The Communist Party of India
(Marxist) the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Nationalist Congress Party are at
present (2006) major recognised national parties.
18.2.4 Allotment of Symbol
Political Parties have symbols which are allotted by the Election Commission. For example,
Hand is the symbol of the Indian National Congress, Lotus is the symbol of the Bharatiya
Janata Party (BJP) and Elephant is the symbol of Bahujan Samaj Party. These symbols
are significant for the following reasons:
1. They are a help for the illiterate voters who cannot read the names of the candidates.
2. They help in differentiating between two candidates having the same name.
MODULE - 4
Notes
201
Electoral System in India
Structure of Government
18.3 Officers on Election Duty
To ensure that elections are held in free and fair manner, the Election Commission appoints
thousands of polling personnel to assist in the election work. These personnel are drawn
among magistrates, police officers, civil servants, clerks, typists, school teachers, drivers,
peons etc. Out of these there are three main officials who play very important role in the
conduct of free and fair election. They are Returning Officer, Presiding Officer and Polling
Officers.
18.3.1 Returning Officer
In every constituency, one Officer is designated as Returning Officer by the Commission
in consultation with the concerned State government. However, an Officer can be
nominated as Returning Officer for more than one constituency. All the nomination papers
are submitted to the Returning Officer. Papers are scrutinised by him/her and if they are
in order, accepted by him/her. Election symbols are allotted by him/her in accordance with
the directions issued by the Election Commission. He/she also accepts withdrawal of the
candidates and announces the final list. He/she supervises all the polling booths, votes are
counted under his/her supervision and finally result is announced by him/her. In fact, the
Returning Officer is the overall incharge of the efficient and fair conduct of elections in
the concerned constituency.
18.3.2 Presiding Officers
Every constituency has a large number of polling booths. Each polling booth on an average
caters to about a thousands votes. Every such booth is under the charge of an officer who
is called the Presiding Officer. He/she supervises the entire process polling in the polling
booth and ensures that every voter gets an opportunity to cast vote freely. After the polling
is over he/she seals all the ballot boxes and deliver them to the Returning Officer.
18.3.3 Polling Officers
Every Presiding Officer is assisted by three to four polling officers. They check the names
of the voters in the electoral roll, put indelible ink on the finger of the voter, issue ballot
papers and ensure that votes are secretly cast by each voter.
[Indelible ink – This ink cannot be removed easily. It is put on the first finger of the right
hand of the voter so that a person does not come again to cast vote for the second time.
This is done to avoid impersonation.]
Intext Questions 18.1
Tick mark () the appropraite alternative out of the four alternatives.
1. Responsibility for conducting free and fair elections rests on:
a) The Chief Justice of India
b) The Election Commission
c) The President
d) The Comptroller and Auditor General
MODULE - 4
Notes
202
Political Science
Structure of Government
2. The Chief Election Commissioner is appointed by:
a) The Chief Justice of India
b) The President
c) The Law Minister
d) The Prime Minister
Fill in the blanks :
3. The Chief Election Commissioner is appointed for _______ years. (four/five/six)
4. The procedure for the removal of Chief Election Commissioner is the same as that of
the _______________ . (Speaker of the Lok Sabha/Judge of the Supreme Court/
The Prime Minister of India)
5. Match the following symbols with the respective Political Parties:
a) BJP Cycle
b) Indian National Congress Lotus
c) Telgu Desam Hand
6. Which of the following is referred to as Mid-term election ?
a) the election held in middle of the year
b) the election held out of schedule
c) the election held any time during the term when ruling party loses a vote of
confidence.
7. Which of the following is essential to be voter?
a) the person should be 21 years of age
b) the person should be a citizen of India
c) the person should have passed secondary examination
18.4 Electoral Process
Elections in India are conducted according to the procedure laid down by law. The following
process is observed.
18.4.1 Notification for Election
The process of election officially begins when on the recommendation of Election
Commission, the President in case of Lok Sabha and the Governor in case of State Assembly
issue a notification for the election. Seven days are given to candidates to file nomination.
The seventh day is the last date after the issue of notification excluding Sunday. Scrutiny
of nomination papers is done on the day normally after the last date of filing nominations.The
candidate can withdraw his/her nomination on the second day after the scrutiny of papers.
Election is held not earlier than twentieth day after the withdrawal.
MODULE - 4
Notes
203
Electoral System in India
Structure of Government 18.4.2 Filing of Nomination
A person who intends to contest an election is required to file the nomination paper in a
prescribed form indicating his name, age, postal address and serial number in the electoral
rolls. The candidate is required to be duly proposed and seconded by at least two voters
registered in the concerned constituency. Every candidate has to take an oath or make
affirmation. These papers are then submitted to the Returning Officer designated by the
Election Commission.
18.4.3 Security Deposit
Every candidate has to make a security deposit at the time of filing nomination. For Lok
Sabha every candidate has to make a security deposit of Rs.10,000/- and for State Assembly
Rs. 5,000. But candidates belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes are required
to deposit Rs. 5,000/– for if contesting the Lok Sabha elections and Rs. 2,500/– for contesting
Vidhan Sabha elections. The security deposit is forfeited if the candidate fails to get at
least 1/6 of the total valid votes polled.
18.4.4 Scrutiny and Withdrawal
All nomination papers received by the Returning Officer are scrutinised on the day fixed
by the Election Commission. This is done to ensure that all papers are filled according to
the procedure laid down and accompanied by required security deposit. The Returning
Officer is empowered to reject a nomination paper on any one of the following ground:
(i) If the candidate is less than 25 years of age.
(ii) If he/she has not made security deposit.
(iii) If he/she is holding any office of profit.
(iv) If he/she is not listed as a voter anywhere in the country
The second day after the scrutiny of nomination papers is the last date for the withdrawal
of the candidates. In case that day happens to be a holiday or Sunday, the day immediately
after that is fixed as the last day for the withdrawal.
18.4.5 Election Campaign
Campaigning is the process by which a candidate tries to persuade the voters to vote for
him rather than others. During this period, the candidates try to travel through their
constituency to influence as many voters as possible to vote in their favour. In the recent
times, the Election Commission has granted all the recognised National and Regional Parties,
free access to the State-owned electronic media, the All India Radio (AIR) and the
Doordarshan to do their campaigning. The total free time is fixed by the Election Commission
which is allotted to all the political parties. Campaigning stops 48 hours before the day of
polling. A number of campaign techniques are involved in the election process. Some of
these are:
i. Holding of public meetings
ii. Distribution of handbills, highlighting the main issues of their election manifesto (election
manifesto is a document issued by political party. It is declaration of policies and
programmes of the party concerned – about this you will read in details in the following
Lesson 19.
MODULE - 4
Notes
204
Political Science
Structure of Government
iii. Door to door appeal by influential people in the party.
iv. Broadcasting and telecasting of speeches by various political leaders.
18.4.6 Model Code of Conduct
During the campaign period the political parties and the contesting candidates are expected
to abide by a model code of conduct evolved by the Election Commission of India on the
basis of the consensus among political parties. It comes into force the moment schedule of
election is announced by the Election Commission. The code of conduct is as follows :
(i) Political Parties and contesting candidates should not use religious places for election
campaign.
(ii) Such speeches should not be delivered in a way to create hatred among different
communities belonging to different religions, castes and languages, etc.
(iii) Official machinery should not be used for election work.
(iv) No new grants can be sanctioned, no new schemes or projects can be started once
the election dates are announced.
(v) One cannot misuse mass media for partisan coverage.
18.4.7 Scrutinisation of Expenses
Though the Election Commission provides free access for a limited time to all the recognised
National and State parties for their campaign, this does not mean that political parties do
not spend anything on their elections campaign. The political parties and the candidates
contesting election spend large sum of amount on their election campaign. However, the
Election Commission has the power to scrutinise the election expenses to be incurred by
the candidates. There is a ceiling on expenses to be incurred in Parliamentary as well as
State Assembly elections. Every candidate is required to file an account of his election
expenses within 45 days of declaration of results. In case of default or if the candidate has
incurred (expenses) more than the prescribed limit, the Election Commission can take
appropriate action and the candidate elected may be disqualified and his election may be
countermanded.
18.4.8 Polling, Counting and Declaration of Result
In order to conduct polling, large number of polling booths are set up in each constituency.
Each booth is placed under the charge of a Presiding Officer with the Polling Officers to
help the process.
A voter casts his/her vote secretly in an enclosure, so that no other person comes to know
of the choice he/she has made. It is known as secret ballot.
After the polling is over, ballot boxes are sealed in the presence of agents of the candidates.
Agents ensure that no voter is denied right to vote, provided the voter turns up comes
within the prescribed time limit.
18.4.9 Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs)
The Election Commission has started using tamper proof electronic voting machines to
MODULE - 4
Notes
205
Electoral System in India
Structure of Government ensure free and fair elections. Each machine has the names and symbols of the candidates
in a constituency. One Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) can accommodate maximum of
16 candidates. But if the number exceeds 16, then more than one EVM may be used. If
the number of candidates is very large, ballot papers may be used. The voter has to press
the appropriate button to vote for the candidate of his/her choice. As soon as the button is
pressed, the machine is automatically switched off. Then comes the turn of the next voter.
The machine is easy to operate, and with this the use of ballot paper and ballot boxes is
done away with. When the machine is used, the counting of votes becomes more convenient
and faster. The EVMs were used in all the seven Lok Sabha constituencies in Delhi in
1999, and later in all the State Assembly constituencies. In 2004 General Elections EVMs
were used all over the country for Lok Sabha elections.
The sealed ballot boxes or EVMs are shifted in tight security to the counting centre.
Counting takes place under the supervision of the Returning Officer and in the presence
of candidates and their agents. If there is any doubt about the validity or otherwise of a
vote, decision of the Returning Officer is final. As soon as counting is over, the candidate
securing the maximum number of votes is declared elected (or returned) by the Returning
Officer.
Re-poll – If at the time of polling, a booth is captured by some anti-social elements, the
Election Commission may order holding of re-poll in either the entire constituency or
particular booths.
Countermanding of Election. If a duly nominated candidate belonging to a recognised
party dies at any time after the last date of nomination and before the commencement of
polling, the Election Commission orders countermanding the elections. This is not just
postponement of polling. The entire election process, beginning from nominations is initiated
afresh in the concerned constituency.
Intext Questions 18.2
1. Who issues the notification for elections?
a) Election Commission
b) Returning Officer
Electronic Voting Machine (EVM)
MODULE - 4
Notes
206
Political Science
Structure of Government c) President
2. Which day is the last date for filing nominations?
a) 4th day
b) 5th day
c) 7th day
3. Election schedule is spread over:
a) 7 days
b) 20 days
c) 1 month
4. Nomination papers should be duly proposed and seconded by:
a) 2 voters of the concerned constituency.
b) 3 voters of any constituency
c) 4 voters of the concerned constituency.
d) 6 voters of the concerned constituency.
5. Campaigning is stopped
a) 12 hours before the polling.
b) 24 hours before the polling.
c) 48 hours before the polling.
6. The polling booth is manned by the
a) Polling Officers
b) Returning Officer
c) Presiding Officer
7. The Electronic Voting Machine can accommodate a maximum of:
a) 10 candidates
b) 16 candidates
c) 20 candidates
18.5 Shortcomings of Indian Electoral System
There has been universal appreciation of the Indian electoral system. People have hailed
the manner in which elections have been conducted in India. But there are its weaknesses.
It has been seen that in spite of the efforts of Election Commission to ensure free and fair
election, there are certain shortcomings of our Electoral system. Some notable weaknesses
are discussed below:
MODULE - 4
Notes
207
Electoral System in India
Structure of Government 18.5.1 Money Power
The role of unaccounted money in elections has become a serious problem. The political
parties collect funds from companies and business houses, and then use this money to
influence the voter to vote in their favour. The business contributions are mostly in cash
and are not unaccounted. Many other corrupt practices are also adopted during election
such as bribing, rigging or voters intimidation, impersonation and providing transport and
conveyance of voters to and fro the polling stations. The reports of liquor being distributed
in poor areas are frequent during election.
18.5.2 Muscle Power
Earlier the criminals used to support the candidates by intimidating the voter at a gunpoint
to vote according to their direction. Now they themselves have come out openly by
contesting the elections leading to criminalisation of politics. As a result violence during
elections has also increased.
18.5.3 Caste and Religion
Generally the candidates are given tickets by the political parties on the consideration
whether the candidate can muster the support of numerically larger castes and communities
and possesses enough resources. Even the electorates vote on the caste and communal
lines. Communal loyalties of the voters are used at the time of propaganda campaign.
18.5.4 Misuse of government machinery
All the political parties do not have equal opportunity in respect of access to resources.
The party in power is always in advantageous position then the opposition parties. There
is widespread allegation that the party in power accomplishes misuse of government
machinery.
All these features lead to violence, booth capturing, rigging bogus voting, forcible removal
of ballot papers, ballot boxes burning of vehicles, etc. which result into loss of public faith
in elections.
18.6 Electoral Reforms
In order to restore the confidence of the public in the democratic electoral system, many
electoral reforms have been recommended from time to time by Tarkunde Committee and
Goswami Committee which were particularly appointed to study and report on the scheme
for Electoral Reforms in the year 1974 and 1990 respectively. Out of these recommendations
some have been implemented. In fact, it was under the chairmanship of the then Chief
Election Commissioner, T.N. Seshan, that Election Commission initiated many more
measures to ensure free and fair elections. Some of the reforms which have been
implemented so far are as follows:
1. The voting age has been lowered from 21 years to 18 years. This has helped increase
the number of voters and response confidence in the youth of the country.
2. Another landmark change has been the increase in the amount of security deposit by
the candidate to prevent many nonserious condidates from contesting elections with
a ulterior motive.
MODULE - 4
Notes
208
Political Science
Structure of Government
3. The photo identity cards have been introduced to eradicate bogus voting or
impersonation.
4. With the introduction of Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) the voting capturing, rigging,
and bogus voting may not be possible. The use of EVM will in the long run result in
reducing the cost of holding elections and also the incidence of tampering during
counting of votes.
5. If a discrepancy is found between the member of votes polled and number of total
votes counted, the Returning officer away report the matter forthwith to Election
Commission. Election Commission on such report may either declare the poll at the
particular polling station as void and give a date for fresh poll or countermand election
in that constituency.
There is no doubt that India needs drastic poll reforms but still the fact remains that Indian
elections have been largely free and fair and successfully conducted. It gives the country
the proud distinction of being the largest democracy in the world.
Intext Questions 18.3
1. Some of the notable shortcomings of the Indian Electoral system are
(a) ___________________ (b)____________________
(c)____________________(d)___________________
2. The most significant electoral reforms implemented in India are:
(I) ___________________
(II)____________________
(III)____________________
(IV)___________________
What You Have Learnt
In order to conduct free and fair elections in India, Election Commission as an impartial
body has been established by the Constitution itself. It is a three-member body. The main
functions of the Election Commission are to delimit the constituencies, recognise the political
parties, allot the symbols, and appoint officials to conduct and supervise the elections, The
electoral process begins with the issue of notification by the President. The Election
Commission releases the schedule for election and, issues model code of conduct to be
followed during elections. The contesting candidates file their nomination papers. Their
papers are scrutinised by the concerned Returning Officers after which they are either
accepted or rejected. The candidates can also withdraw their nominations. During the
election campaign, political parties and their candidate release their respective Election
Manifestos. A large number of public meetings, and door-to-door campaign are organised
MODULE - 4
Notes
209
Electoral System in India
Structure of Government and the electronic media, TV and Radio etc. are used to win the people’s confidence. On
the polling day the Election Commission ensures that voters cast their votes in free and
fair manner. The candidate who secures highest number of votes in a constituency is
declared elected.
Recently Electronic Voting Machine has been introduced, it has replaced the use of ballot
papers and ballot boxes. This change has yielded positive outcomes, as no bogus voting,
rigging or booth capturing can happen now, and the counting can be completed in no time.
Though Election Commission tries its best to conduct free and fair elections our electoral
system is faced with the problems like use of money and muscle powers, and other corrupt
practices. To avoid all this certain electoral reforms have been introduced from time to
time.
Terminal Exercises
1. What are the functions of Election Commission of India?
2. Explain briefly the electoral process followed during Lok Sabha or Assembly Elections.
3. Write in brief the shortcomings of electoral system in India. Suggest reforms for
improving the system.
Answers to Intext Questions
18.1
1. b) 2. b) 3. Six 4. Judge of the Supreme Court
5. a – Lotus; b – Hand; c – Cycle
6. c) 7. b)
18.2
1. c) 2. c) 3. c) 4. a) 5. c)
6. a) 7. b)
18.3
1. a) Money power
b) Muscle power
c) Role of Caste and religion
d) Misuse of government machinery
2. i) Lowering of voting age
ii) Increasing the amount of security deposit
MODULE - 4
Notes
210
Political Science
Structure of Government
iii) Introduction of Photo Identity Card
iv) Introduction of Electronic Voting Machines
Hints for Terminal Exercises
1. Refer to Section 18.2
2. Refer to Section 18.4
3. Refer to Sections 18.5 and 18.6


How can I know whether or not I am in a healthy relationship/friendship?

These are the things, which makes a relationship healthy:
Mutual respect
Trust
Honesty
Support
Fairness and equality
Separate identities
Good communication
Also there are warning signs of a relationship including friendship.

Ask yourself the following questions:

Is your partner/friend trying to control you, make you feel bad about
yourself, isolate you from the rest of the world, or harm you physically or
sexually?

If yes, then it’s time to speak to ones partner and if this does not help on
must definitely reconsider this relationship/friendship. Let a trusted adult
know what’s going on, and make sure that you are safe from this person.
Even if you know that the person hurting you loves you, it is not healthy
at all.

Let us ponder over adolescence issues
MODULE - 4
Notes
211
National Political Parties
19
NATIONAL POLITICAL PARTIES
n the previous lessons you have read about the methods of representation and the electoral
process. In this lesson you will study about political parties. Political parties exist in every
democratic society and even in authoritarian systems. In a political system, parties act as
the carrier of ideas, opinions and approaches to social needs and national goals. Parties
provide a link between the citizens and the government, between the electorate and the
representative institutions. In fact a successful democracy requires a healthy party-system
for its sustenance. Political parties are instruments through which citizens choose those
who constitute the government. They explain merits and dangers of alternate policies and
provide political education to the citizens.
Objectives
After studying this lesson, you will be able to
recognise the importance of political parties;
identify the different types of party system;
recall the features of Indian party-system;
distinguish between national and regional parties;
describe the ideals and objectives of major national parties;
appreciate the role of these national parties in sustaining India’s democratic system.
19.1 Meaning and Role of Political Parties
Human beings have always organised themselves in groups and larger formations. Political
parties have emerged as one of these human organisations. In modern age the ideal form
of government is run through one or the other method of representative institutions. All
representative governments and representative institutions require the existence of political
parties.
A political party is an organised body of people who share certain common principles and
goals regarding the political system of a country. The main purpose of political parties is to
I
MODULE - 4
Notes
212
Political Science
acquire and retain political power. Political parties which run the government are called
the ruling party. In a coalition government, there may be more than one ruling party. Those
who sit in the opposition and criticise and analyse the performance of the ruling party/
parties generally or on specific issues are called opposition parties. A political party as
such should have the following essential features:
i) it must be an organised body of people with a formal membership;
ii) it must have clearly spelt out policies and programmes;
iii) its members should agree with its ideology, policies and programmes;
iv) it must aim at getting power through the democratic process;
v) it must have a clear and acceptable leadership; and
vi) it must focus on broad issues and major areas of government policies.
Intext Questions 19.1
Fill in the blanks:
a) A political party is an organised body of people whose main aim is to
__________________ (acquire and retain power/ pressurise government)
b) Members of a political party ____________________ common principles, goals
and philosophy (share/don’t share).
c) Parties serve as a link between the _________________ and the government
(citizens/institutions).
19.2 Types of Party System
India has a multi-party system. Indian politics is dominated by several national and regional
parties. There are countries where there is one-party system or two-party system. Erstwhile
Soviet Union and Yugoslavia had single party systems. Similarly, China has one-party
system. Earlier in Germany there existed only one-party – the Nazi Party; so was the case
in Italy where the only party was known as the Fascist Party. In a two party or bi-party
system there are two main political parties. The United Kingdom (UK), the United States
of America (USA), Australia and New Zealand have bi-party systems. There may exist
other parties but their role is generally insignificant. For example in UK, there are two
main parties, the Conservative Party and the Labour Party. In the USA the two main
parties are the Republican Party and the Democratic Party. Japan, France, Germany and
Switzerland have multi-party systems.
Intext Questions 19.2
Fill in the blanks:
a) Erstwhile Soviet Union had __________________ (one-party system/ multi-party
system).
MODULE - 4
Notes
213
National Political Parties
b) Germany has a ____________________ (bi-party system/ multi-party system).
c) Two main parties of the UK are _________________ (Conservative and Labour
Parties/Democratic and Liberal parties).
19.3 Evolution of Party System in India
The evolution of Indian party system can be traced to the formation of the Congress, as a
political platform in 1885. Other parties and groups originated later. The Indian National
Congress was formed as a response to the colonial rule and to achieve independence from
the British rule.
After independence and with the adoption of a democratic Constitution, a new party system
emerged in the wake of the first general elections based on universal adult franchise in
1952. In preceding lesson you have learnt about the universal adult franchise in detail.
During the post-independence period, the party system passed through various phases.
The first phase is known as the phase of one-party dominance because with the exception
of Kerala during 1956–59, the ruling party both at the Centre and in the states was the
Congress. The second phase (1967–1975) saw the emergence of a multi-party system in
India. In the Assembly elections in 1967, Congress was defeated in eight States. For the
first time non-Congress parties formed governments in these states. These parties formed
coalition governments. Then came the split in Congress into Congress (O) and Congress
(N). However, the Congress again became a dominant force at the Centre after winning
1971 mid-term poll. Then came the emergency period (1975–77) which is known as the
authoritarian period of Indian democracy.
With the lifting of emergency, the dominance of Congress ended. In the general elections
of 1977 Congress was defeated by the Janata Party. Janata Party came into existence as
a result of the merger of many opposition parties. But again in 1980 general elections
Congress came back to power and remained in power till 1989.
Janata Party emerged out of the merger of Congress (O) led by Morarji Desai, Bharatiya
Lok Dal led by Ch. Charan Singh, Congress for Democracy (CFD) led by Jagjivan Ram
and H.N. Bahuguna, the socialists led by George Fernandes and Jana Sangh led by L.K.
Advani.
In 1989 elections, the National Front joined government with the support of BJP and the
Left Front. But this formation could not last its tenure and elections for the tenth Lok
Sabha were held in May-June, 1991. Congress again formed government at the Centre. In
1996 general elections BJP emerged as the single largest party and was asked to form
government at the Centre. Since it could not prove its majority within the given time it had
to resign. The United Front which was a combination of thirteen parties, formed the
government at the Centre with the external support of the Congress and the CPI(M). But
this government also could not last its full term. Although the coalition government formed
under the leadership of BJP after 1998 elections was defeated in Lok Sabha, the 1999
elections again provided them the opportunity to form government which lasted its full
term under a multi-party coalition, known as National Democratic Alliance (NDA).
In the 14th general elections held in 2004, Congress emerged as the single largest party. It
formed alliance with like minded parties and formed government at the Centre. The phase
MODULE - 4
Notes
214
Political Science
of Indian party system which began in 1989 and is still continuing has been aptly called a
phase of coalition politics. No single party has been able to form government on its own at
the Centre.
Intext Questions 19.3
Fill in the blanks:
1. The phase 1952–1967 in the Indian Party System is known as ______________.
2. From 1975 to 1977 was known as the ________________ period.
3. From 1977 to 1988 is known as the Janata Party phase of ____________ politics.
4. The United Front government was a combination of ____________ parties.
19.4 National Parties and Regional Parties
India has two types of political parties – national parties and regional parties. National
parties are those which generally have influence all over the country. It is not necessary
that a national party will have equal strength in all the states; it varies from State to State.
A party is recognised as a national party by the Election Commission on the basis of a
formula. The political party which has secured not less than four percent of the total valid
votes in the previous general elections at least in four states, is given the status of a
national party.
The number of national parties has been changing. In the year 2006, Indian National
Congress, Bharatiya Janata Party, Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI(M)], Communist
Party of India (CPI), Bahujan Samaj Party, and the Nationalist Congress Party were
national parties.
However, there are other parties in India, which do not enjoy national influence. Their
activities and influence are restricted to particular states or regions. Sometimes these
parties are formed to voice demands of a specific region. These parties are neither weak
nor short-lived. Sometimes they prove to be very powerful in their respective regions.
These are known as regional parties. Major regional parties are AIADMK and DMK in
Tamil Nadu, Telugu Desam in Andhra Pradesh, Akali Dal in Punjab, National Conference
in Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha in Jharkhand, Asom Gana Parishad in
Assam and Nationalist Congress Party and Shiv Sena in Maharashtra. About the regional
parties you will read in the following lesson.
Intext Questions 19.4
Fill in the blanks:
a) National Party should have secured four percent valid votes in at least
__________________ states (four/five).
b) CPI is a ____________________ party (national/regional).
c) DMK is a ____________________ party (national/regional).
MODULE - 4
Notes
215
National Political Parties
d) National conference is a ____________________ party (national/regional).
19.5 Major National Parties in India
1. Indian National Congress
As you have already read, Indian National Congress was formed in the year 1885 in
Bombay. W.C. Bonnarjee was the first President of the Indian National Congress. To
begin with, Congress was an organisation of middle class intellectuals who were primarily
concerned with political reforms in the British colonial rule. In the twenties under the
leadership of Mahatma Gandhi, the Congress became a mass based organisation. The
party started enjoying the support of the common people and played a very significant role
in the freedom struggle.
After independence Jawahar Lal Nehru became the Prime Minsiter and led the Congress
till his death in 1964. As already mentioned in an earlier paragraph, this was known as the
‘Nehru era’. The Congress party won first five general elections in 1952, 1957, 1962, 1967
and 1971. In 1975 national emergency was declared which went on till 1977. In the elections
of 1977, the Congress was defeated. However, in 1980 general elections, the Congress
Party led by Indira Gandhi came back to power. Indira Gandhi was assassinated in 1984
and during 1985 general elections, Rajiv Gandhi was the leader of the party. Congress
won the 1985 general elections with a larger majority. In 1989 though Congress could not
get absolute majority, it was the single largest party. In the tenth general elections in 1991,
Congress again emerged as the single largest party and formed the government at the
Centre. In the 1996, general elections Congress could not form government at the Centre.
In the 12th general elections in 1998, Congress could get only 140 Lok Sabha seats. In the
1999 general elections Congress’s strength was further reduced to 112. But in the 14th
general elections Congress entered into alliance with other secular parties and secured the
number of seats that provided it an opportunity to form a coalition government.
Intext Questions 19.5
1. Indian National Congress was formed in the year _________________ (1885/1895/
1975).
2. Under Mahatama Gandhi’s leadership Congress became an organisation of the
___________________ (common people/moderate/rich).
3. National emergency was declared in _____________ (1975/1976/1977).
2. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was formed in 1980. Since then it has extended its
influence in the Hindi belt, Gujarat and Maharashtra. Since 1989, it has been trying to
extend its base in South India also.
Since its formation in 1980, the BJP has been increasing its number of seats in the Lok
Sabha gradually. In 1984, general elections it secured only two seats. In 1989 the number
of seats increased to 88. In 1991 general elections BJP’s strength in the Lok Sabha increased
to 122 which rose to 161 in the 1996 elections. In 1998 it won 180 seats and in 1999 its
MODULE - 4
Notes
216
Political Science
number in Lok Sabha increased to 182. In the 1999 general elections, BJP contested as an
alliance partner in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA). In the recent 2004 general
elections BJP as an alliance of NDA could not get the required majority. It is playing the
role of the opposition party. The BJP has emerged as a significant national party but its
support base as yet is limited to certain areas, rather than spread all over India.
3. The Communist Parties
The two communist parties are the Communist Party of India (CPI) and the Communist
Party of India (Marxist) [CPI(M)]. Next to the Congress, the Communist Party is the
oldest in India. The communist movement began in the early twenties and the Communist
Party was founded in 1925. The communists participated in the national movement, though
often they had serious differences with the Congress. The communists assert that the
people should be economically equal and the society should not be divided into classes of
rich and poor. The workers and peasants and other toiling people who do most of the
productive work for the society, should be given due recognition and power.
The communists were the main opposition in the Lok Sabha throughout the Nehru Era. In
the first Lok Sabha they had 26 members, in the second and the third Lok Sabha, they had
27 and 29 members respectively. In 1957, the CPI won absolute majority in the Kerala
Assembly and formed the first Communist government in India. In the early sixties specially
after the Chinese aggression of 1962 there were serious differences among the members
of the Communist Party. As a result, the party split into two. Those who broke away from
CPI, formed CPI(M) in 1964. The CPI(M)’s main support base has been concentrated in
West Bengal, Kerala and Tripura, though it has registered its presence in Andhra Pradesh,
Assam, Bihar, Maharashtra, Orissa and Punjab. The CPI has its pockets of influence in
states like Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Manipur, Orissa, Pondicherry, Punjab, etc.
Moreover CPI has been a part of the left front coalition in Kerala and West Bengal. In the
Lok Sabha elections of 2004, both the CPI and the CPI (M) were alliance partners of the
Congress. They are supporting the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government at the
Centre from outside.
4. Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP)
The BSP acquired the status of a national party in 1996. The BSP champions the cause of
those sections which belong to low castes, deprived groups and minorities. In fact, these
sections of Indian society (the Bahujan Samaj) form the majority of the Indian population.
The BSP believes that this ‘samaj’ should be freed from the exploitation of the upper
castes and by forming their own government. BSP’s influence lies in states like Madhya
Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab. In 1995 and 1997 BSP was a partner in the coalition
governments in Uttar Pradesh.
Intext Questions 19.6
Fill in the blanks:
a) In the 1984 general elections BJP secured ____________ seats (2, 3, 4).
b) CPI formed its first state government in the state of ___________________ (Kerala,
West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh).
c) BSP’s influence lies in the state of (Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal).
MODULE - 4
Notes
217
National Political Parties
What You Have Learnt
In this lesson you have learnt about the political parties in India. Meaning and role of
political parties in sustaining Indian democracy has been described. Different types of
political parties have also been touched upon in order to give the right perspective about
the party system. Evolution of party-system in India has been narrated. After giving a
brief definition of national and regional parties, highlights of major national parties like the
Congress, the BJP, the Communist Parties and the Bahujan Samaj Party have been given.
Terminal Exercises
1. Describe the essential features of a political party.
2. Discuss about the major National Political Parties of India.
Answers to Intext Questions
19.1
(a) get power
(b) share
(c) citizens
19.2
(a) one-party system
(b) multi-party system
(c) conservative and labour parties
19.3
(a) one-party dominance
(b) authoritarian
(c) coalitional politics
(d) thirteen
19.4
(a) four
(b) national
(c) regional
(d) regional
MODULE - 4
Notes
218
Political Science
19.5
(a) 1885
(b) common people
(c) 1975
19.6
(a) 2
(b) Kerala
(c) Uttar Pradesh
Hints for Terminal Exercises
1. Refer to Section 19.3.
2. Refer to Section 19.5.


HOW CAN WE ENHANCE OUR LIFE SKILLS?

UNDERSTAND AND FEEL GOOD ABOUT YOURSELF. HAVE FAITH IN
YOURSELF AND UNDERSTAND YOUR OWN STRENGTHS AND
WEAKNESSES. IT IS ESSENTIAL TO HAVE A SENSE OF SELF-RESPECT.
BE POSITIVE IN YOUR ATTITUDE TOWARDS LIFE. BE READY TO
LEARN FROM EXPERIENCES EVEN IF THEY ARE NOT PLEASANT.
IN DIFFICULT SITUATIONS, TRY TO IDENTIFY THE CAUSE OF
PROBLEM. FIND BEST SOLUTIONS AVAILABLE.
SHARE YOUR CONCERNS WITH OTHERS AND SEEKING TIMELY HELP
WHEN NEEDED.
HAVE A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE AND MAKE RESPONSIBLE DECISIONS.
SEEK RELIABLE INFORMATION AND MAKE INFORMED CHOICES AND
DECISIONS.
THINK OF THE CONSEQUENCES OF YOUR DECISIONS AND ACTIONS.
LEARN FROM THE EXPERIENCE OF OTHERS – WE CAN BENEFIT FROM
THE MISTAKE OF OTHERS.
MANAGE YOUR STRESS BY SHARING YOUR CONCERNS AND SEEKING
HELP FROM PERSONS LIKE PARENTS, TEACHERS, FRIENDS AND
COUNSELLORS.
HAVE THE COURAGE TO SAY ‘NO’ TO PEER PRESSURE.
TRY TO BE CARING AND EMPATHETIC WITH PERSONS WHO NEED
SPECIAL CARE AND PEOPLE LIVING WITH HIV/AIDS.
Let us ponder over adolescence issues
How can we enhance our life skills?
Understand and feel good about yourself. Have faith in yourself and
understand your own strengths and weaknesses. It is essential to
have a sense of self-respect.
Be positive in your attitude towards life. Be ready to learn from
experiences even if they are not pleasant.
In difficult situations, try to identify the cause of problem. Find best
solutions available.
Share your concerns with others and seeking timely help when needed.
Have a healthy lifestyle and make responsible decisions.
Seek reliable information and make informed choices and decisions.
Think of the consequences of your decisions and actions.
Learn from the experience of others – we can benefit from the mistake
of others.
Manage your stress by sharing your concerns and seeking help from
persons like parents, teachers, friends and counsellors.
Have the courage to say ‘NO’ to peer pressure.
Try to be caring and empathetic with persons who need special care
and people living with HIV/AIDS.
Share information on sensitive reproductive health issues.
MODULE - 4
Notes
219
Regionalism and Regional Parties
20
REGIONALISM AND
REGIONAL PARTIES
ne of the notable features of the Indian Party System is the presence of a large
number of regional parties. By regional party we mean a party which generally operates
within a limited geographical area and its activities are confined only to a single or handful
of states. Further as compared to the broad ranging diverse interests of national parties,
the regional parties represent the interest of a particular area. In simple words, regional
parties differ from All India parties both in terms of their outlook as well as the interests
they pursue. Their activities are focused on specific issues concerning the region and they
operate within the limited area. They merely seek to capture power at the state or regional
level and do not aspire to control the national government. It is noteworthy that in India,
the number of regional parties is much larger than the national parties and some of the
States are being ruled by the regional parties, viz., Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka,
Assam, Jammu & Kashmir etc.
Objectives
After studying this lesson, you will be able to
analyse the factors responsible for the growth of regionalism;
determine the factors instrumental for the growth of regional parties;
create awareness about the role of regional parties;
distinguish a regional party from a national party.
20.1 What is Regionalism
The term ‘regionalism’ has two connotations. In the negative sense, it implies excessive
attachment to one’s region is preference to the country or the state. In the positive sense
it is a political attribute associated with people’s love for their region, culture, language,
etc. with a view to maintain their independent identity. While positive regionalism is a
welcome thing in so far maintaining as it encourages the people to develop a sense of
brotherhood and commonness on the basis of common language, religion or historical
O
MODULE - 4
Notes
220
Political Science
background. The negative sense regionalism is a great threat to the unity and integrity of
the country. In the Indian context generally the term regionalism has been used in the
negative sense.
The feeling of regionalism may arise either due to the continuous neglect of a particular
area or region by the ruling authorities or it may spring up as a result of increasing political
awareness of backward people that have been discriminated against. Quite often some
political leaders encourage the feeling of regionalism to maintain their hold over a particular
area or group of people.
Intext Questions 20.1
Fill in the blanks:
1. In the positive sense Regionalism is people’s love for their
____________ and _______________.
2. Regional party means a party who operates will in a limited
___________ area.
3. In India we have ______________ number of regional parties
20.2 Different Forms of Regionalism
Regionalism in India has assumed various forms like:
(a) Demand for State Autonomy: Regionalism has often led to the demand by states for
greater autonomy from the center. Increasing interference by the Centre in the affairs of
the states has led to regional feelings. Demand for autonomy has also been raised by
regions within some states of the Indian federation.
(b) Secession from the Union: This is a dangerous form of regionalism. It emerges
when states demand separation from the Centre and try to establish an independent identity
of their own.
Disputes between states over the sharing of river water, primacy given by the states to the
language of majority and to people of their own states in job opportunities have also given
rise to feelings of regionalism. Migration of people from backward state to a developed
state for employment opportunities have often resulted in a hostile attitude against the
migrants for example, problems going on in Karnataka and A.P.
20.3 Development of Regionalism in India
Regionalism is not a new phenomenon in the Indian political system. In the pre-independence
days it was promoted by the British imperialists and they deliberately encouraged the
people of various regions to think in terms of their region rather than the nation as a whole,
with a view to maintain their hold over India during the national movement. After
Independence the leaders tried to foster a feeling among the people that they belonged to
one single nation. The framers of the constitution sought to achieve this by introducing
single citizenship for all. With the same objective a unified judiciary, all Indian services, and
a strong Central government was provided. But in view of the vastness of the country and
MODULE - 4
Notes
221
Regionalism and Regional Parties
cultures regionalism soon made its appearance in India.
The first manifestation of regionalism was the demand for reorganisation of states on
linguistic basis, but the most effective play of regionalism was the victory of the DMK
against Congress in Tamil Nadu in 1960s. Initially the central leadership felt that regionalism
was a peripheral political factor confined to Tamil Nadu and hence did not pose any threat
to national unity. However, that assessment was ill-founded. Soon in Punjab the Akali
movement gained momentum, while in Jammu and Kashmir Sheikh Abdullah revived the
National Conference. During these initial years all the Indian political parties continued to
adjust with these regional forces on the plea that they would ultimately succeed in making
inroads into the bases of the regional parties and absorb them in their organisations.
The Indian National Congress which enjoyed monopoly of power between 1947–1967
and followed a policy of blowing hot and cold toward the regional forces, also contributed
to the growth of regionalism in India. It accommodated the regional forces when it was
convenient and raised a hue and cry against them when it was pitted against them. The
local Congress leaders also encouraged the growth of regionalism and strengthened their
hold on local party organisation, with a view to increase their bargaining power with the
central leaders. In fact a close link developed between central and regional leadership.
This close link between the central and regional leadership greatly encouraged the growth
of regionalism.
Intext Questions 20.2
True or False
1. Regionalism has often led to the demand by states to greater autonomy from the
center. (True/False)
2. Disputes regarding sharing water, primacy or language of majorityhave also given
rise to feelings of regionalism. (True/False)
20.4 Causes for Growth of Regionalism
In India a number of factors have constituted to the growth of regionalism.
1. Regionalism made its appearance as a reaction against the efforts of the national
government to impose a particular ideology, language or cultural pattern on all people
and groups. Thus the States of South have resisted imposition of Hindi as official
language because they feared this would lead to dominance of the North. Similarly,
in Assam anti-foreigner movement was launched by the Assamese to preserve their
own culture.
2. Continuous neglect of an area or region by the ruling parties and concentration of
administrative and political power has given rise to demand for decentralization of
authority and bifurcate of unilingual states. On occasions sons of soil theory has
been put forth to promote the interests of neglected groups or areas of the state.
3. The desire of the various units of the Indian federal system to maintain their sub
cultural regions and greater degree of self-government has promoted regionalism
and given rise to demand for greater autonomy.
MODULE - 4
Notes
222
Political Science
4. The desire of regional elites to capture power has also led to rise of regionalism. It is
well known that political parties like DMK, AIADMK, Akali Dal, Telugu Desam
Asom Gana Parishad etc., have encouraged regionalism to capture power.
5. The interaction between the forces of modernisation and mass participation have
also largely contributed to the growth of regionalism in India. As the country is still
away from realising the goal of a nation state, the various groups have failed to
identify their group interests with national interests, hence the feeling of regionalism
has persisted.
6. The growing awareness among the people of backward areas that they are being
discriminated against has also promoted feeling of regionalism. The local political
leaders have fully exploited this factor and tried to feed the people with the idea that
the Central Government was deliberately trying to maintain regional imbalances by
neglecting social and economic development of certain areas.
20.5 Role of The Regional Parties
Though the regional parties operate within very limited area and pursue only limited objective,
they have played significant role both in the State as well as national politics. The regional
political parties formed governments in several states and tried to give concrete shape to
their policies and programmes. Some of the important regional parties which formed
governments in various states include DMK and AIADMK in Tamil Nadu; National
Conference in Jammu and Kashmir, Telugu Desam in Andhra Pradesh, Asom Gana Parishad
in Assam; Maharasthrawadi Gomantak Party in Goa; Mizo National Front in Mizoram;
Sikkim Sangram Parishad in Sikkam; All Party Hill Leaders Conference in Meghalaya
and Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) in Haryana. Some of the regional parties were also
partners in the coalition governments formed in several States after the fourth general
elections of 1967. At the Centre also, of late the Regional Parties have been able to play
critical role in helping formation of Congress government. DMK, a regional party, supported
Mrs. Indira Gandhi’s government after split in the party in 1969 and enabled her to carry
on government despite loss of majority in the Parliament. Telugu Desam was the pillar of
strengh for the United Front and later the National Democratic Alliance. The
representatives of the regional parties focus the attention of the Parliament on issues in
their region and try to influence the policies of the Government to promote their own
interests.
But probably the greatest service rendered by the regional political parties is that they
have focused the attention of the people in remote areas on various political and economic
issues and contributed to their political awakening. Above all, the regional parties have
been able to impress on the national political parties that they cannot put up with their
attitude of indifference towards regional problems and have compelled them to take keen
interest in the resolution of their problems.
In short it can be said that the regional political parties have not only profoundly influenced
the regional politics but also left tremendous impact on the national politics.
MODULE - 4
Notes
223
Regionalism and Regional Parties
Intext Questions 20.3
Fill in the blanks :
1. _____________ is not a new phenomenon in the Indian Political System.
2. Indian National Congress enjoyed monopoly of power between________________.
3. The close link between the ___________ and _________ leadership encouraged
the growth of regionalism.
4. Continuous neglect of a region by the ruling parties is a ___________ of regionalism.
20.6 Measures for Correcting Regional Imbalances
Regionalism has been an important aspect of Indian politics. Sometimes, it has posed
threat to the unity of the country. Hence it is necessary to take steps to reduce such
tendencies. Some such measures can be
(a) To promote even development of the hitherto neglected areas so that they feel a part
of the national mainstream.
(b) The central government must not interfere in the affairs of the State unless it is
unavoidable for national interest.
(c) Problems of people must be solved in a peaceful and constitutional manner. Politicians
must not be allowed to misuse the issue of regional demands.
(d) Except for issues of national importance, the states should be given freedom to run
their own affairs.
(e) Changes are necessary in the Central-State relations in favour of the states, and for
introducing a system of national education that would help people to overcome regional
feelings and develop an attachment towards the nation.
Intext Questions 20.4
Multiple Choice Questions
1. A party which generally operates within a limited geographical area is called:-
(a) Political Party
(b) National Party
(c) Regional Party
(d) All the above
2. Factors which have contributed to the growth of regional parties are:-
(a) Social
(b) Ethnic
(c) Cultural and geographical
(d) All the above
MODULE - 4
Notes
224
Political Science
What You Have Learnt
Regionalism means strong attachment to a particular region or a state as against the
country as a whole. This feeling arises either due to the continuous neglect of a particular
area or because the people of a particular region become politically aware and seek to
fight perceived discrimination. Regionalism is a problem because it threatens the unity and
integrity of the country.
The two prominent manifestations of regionalism are:
(a) agitation for separate statehood. Examples, demand for Telengana, Bodo-land
(Assam), Gorkha land etc., and
(b) Secession from the Indian Union, for example – demand for Khalistan, demand for
Nagaland, etc.
Terminal Exercises
1. Explain the meaning of regionalism? Why is it dangerous?
2. Discuss the different forms of regionalism?
3. Discuss the role of regional parties?
Answers to Intext Questions
20.1
(1) Region, Culture, Language
(2) Geographical
(3) Larger
20.2
(1) True
(2) True
20.3
(1) Regionalism
(2) 1947–1967
(3) Central, Regional
(4) Cause
20.4
(1) c
(2) d
Hints for Terminal Exercises
1. Refer to section 20.1
2. Refer to section 20.2
3. Refer to section 20.5
MODULE - 4
Notes
225
Public Opinion and Pressure Groups
Democracy at Work
21
PUBLIC OPINION AND
PRESSURE GROUPS
he views, interests and aspirations of the people constitute the core of the democratic
system. There are certain groups or associations that try to influence the decision-making
or policy formulation by the government in accordance with their specific interests. Such
groups are called pressure groups. The government that represents the people carries on
administration in accordance with the public opinion expressed by the people. In fact,
democracy derives its authority from the people. It seeks people’s opinion on various
issues of common interest. Infact, no government whether it is democratic or not, can
afford to ignore the public opinion and pressure groups. Every government respects the
feelings of the public. It is always keen to know their response to various issues that are
directly or indirectly related to them. In any political system, public opinion and pressure
groups play a very significant role. We shall discuss various aspects of public opinion and
pressure groups in this lesson.
Objectives
After studying this lesson, you will be able to
explain the meaning and characteristics of public opinion ;
recognize the significance and role of public opinion ;
learn about various agencies that contribute to the formation of public opinion ;
identify the hindrances to the formation of healthy public opinion ;
appreciate the significance of pressure groups in India ;
differentiate between a pressure group and a political party ;
evaluate public opinion and pressure groups with special reference to India.
21.1 Meaning and Characteristics of Public Opinion
Public opinion is generally understood as the opinion of public, common people or the voice
T
MODULE - 4
Notes
226
Political Science
Democracy at Work
of the people. But public exactly does not mean people. There is no single public. In fact,
there are several ‘public’. The total people as a whole do not constitute one single
homogeneous public, having similar views or opinion. The public is not a fixed body of
individuals. The term ‘public’ means a section of society, sharing common interests. It
holds similar views and opinions on matters of public concern.
It is therefore, not necessary that public opinion will be the opinion of all the people. It is
not even the opinion of the majority. As there are many publics, there are also different
opinions and different problems. Public opinion necessarily reflects diversity of opinion.
It is also important to understand that public opinion is not the opinion of an individual,
though he or she may be a highly respected person. It is not a private opinion. It is also not
an expert opinion, irrespective of the wisdom of the expert. Public opinion is an organised
and considered opinion of a section or many sections of the people on any public issue or
concern. It is genuinely both public and opinion. It is neither a propaganda nor a public
relations exercise.
Public opinion is not the unanimous opinion but there
is a general agreement on the issue.
It may change with the circumstances, time and new
information.
Public opinion is logical and considered view of a section
of society.
Public opinion necessarily reflects diversity of opinion.
There is no fixed territory or area for public opinion.
Public opinion ensures democratic communication.
MODULE - 4
Notes
227
Public Opinion and Pressure Groups
Democracy at Work
Intext Questions 21.1
Fill in the blanks:
(a) A public is a section of society, sharing ____________ (common/specific) interests.
(b) Public opinion is an _____________ and opinion of a section or many sections of
people on any public issue. (organised and considered/ private and expert)
(c) Public opinion _________ unanimous opinion of the entire people. (is/is not)
(d) There__________fixed territory or area for public opinion. (is/is no)
21.2 Significance and Role of Public Opinion
Public opinion is considered to be the essential element for successful working of democratic
communication in the system. Public Opinion is the expression of the views of citizens. No
government can afford to ignore it. A sound and effective public opinion can even shake
the structures of dictators. The strength of democratic system lies in respecting the mind
power of the people. There should be free and fair interaction of thoughts for solving the
collective problems. Public opinion acquires great relevance in realising this democratic
goal. It promotes wider awareness and invites citizens to examine issues from different
points of view. The significance and role of public opinion can be explained as follows:
(a) Guide to the Government: Public opinion acts as the guide to the government in
respect of policy formation. Government functions in general on the basis of mandate
received in elections and tries to win over the masses to fulfil the promises made during
elections.
(b) Helping in Law Making: Government is always under pressure of public opinion
and takes note of the same in formulating laws for the common good. Governmental
policies are invariably affected by people’s opinion on various issues. Public opinion helps
the government to enact laws in the given situation.
(c) Acts as a Watchdog: Public opinion acts as a watchdog. It controls and checks the
government from becoming irresponsible. While criticizing the wrong policies of the
government, public opinion always keeps the government alert. Government is always
concious of the fact that people would not vote for it or bring it back to power again if it
goes against the wishes of the people.
(d) Protects the Rights & Liberties: Public opinion acts as the protector of rights and
liberties of citizens. In a democratic country, people have the right to criticize or support
the government in their own way. More effective and positive use of this right not only
encourages or motivates the government but also keeps the government alive towards the
rights and liberties of the people.
(e) Acts as a Powerful Force in International Sphere: - Public opinion has acquired
worldwide importance. In fact, international relations are influenced by public opinion. In
the age of globalization, the issues like promotion and protection of human rights, environment
and discrimination based on race, religion or sex, prevention of child labour, terrorism etc.
hold international community answerable to public opinion. Therefore, the governments
remain conscious of such international public opinion also. Infact, no democratic government
can afford to ignore public opinion.
MODULE - 4
Notes
228
Political Science
Democracy at Work
Intext Questions 21.2
I. Fill in the blanks :
(a) Government takes serious note of _________________while formulating policies
and enacting laws. (Public opinion/ opinion of political parties)
(b) Public opinion acts as a ___________ to the government.(watchdog/friend)
(c) Governments today_____________concious of international public opinion. (are/
are not)
II. Mark True or False :
(a) The government can easily afford to ignore public opinion. (True/False)
(b) Public opinion keeps a check on the arbitrary acts of the government.
(True/False)
(c) Public opinion has no impact on protection of rights and liberties. (True/False)
(d) International relations are influenced by public opinion. (True/False)
21.3 Formation of Public Opinion
There is no difinite and automatic process for the formation of public opinion. Whenever
an issue of public concern emerges, various sections of society express their views. In the
process some views receive larger attention and emerge as public opinion. There are
informal and formal processes that mould public opinion.
23.3.1 Political Socialisation
Political socialistion is the basic process through which every indivitual is oriented with
respect to political issues. A human being lives and grows in family, neighbourhood, friends,
the locality and the region. The orientation of attitudes, beliefs and values towards the
political system acquire shape in association of their groups. The most influencial in
personality formation and character building are the family and the peer group. They
provide the basic mould in influencing the ideas and opinions of the individual. The orientation
of individuals through this process determines their views and reactions towards political
issues.
EDUCATIONAL
INSTITUTIONS
POLITICAL
PARTIES &
THEIR
ACTIVITIES
PUBLIC
MEETINGS
RADIO &
TELEVISION
OPINION
POLLS
PRESS
CINEMA
POLITICAL
SOCIALISATION
AGENCIES
OF PUBLIC
OPINION
MODULE - 4
Notes
229
Public Opinion and Pressure Groups
Democracy at Work
21.3.2 Press
The print media includes newspaper, periodicals, pamphlets, journals, leaflets etc. Press or
print media supplies the news regarding all political and social happenings in the world. It
throws a flood of light on current issues. In fact press is regarded as the watchdog of
democracy by carrying the voice of the public to the government. People express their
criticism or support in the form of articles, or comments through press. Hence, make the
government responsible and answerable.In fact, government also propagates its policies
and programmes through media. It tries to highlight its achievements to make public opinion
in its favour.
21.3.3 Radio and Television
Electronic media i.e. radio and television act as a mirror of social life. Print media influences
only the educated. The electronic media plays an important part in collecting the information
and moulding the thoughts of the uneducated masses also.The audio-visual media is used
as a powerful means for bringing about social transformation and setting up a new social
order free from social evils. It is used to educate the masses on certain sensitive issues
like casteism, communalism violence etc. Through radio and television masses communicate
their feelings and opinions towards various government policies and programmes.
21.3.4 Cinema
Cinema has been the traditional medium of entertainment and awareness. The cinema
caters to the artistic and intellectual needs of the people. It cultivates new ideas and norms
in the society on political and social problems. Feature films and documentary films have
their natural impact on the thinking of the people. This audio visual method can even
influence the illiterates.
21.3.5 Public Meetings
Public meetings or platforms are effective means of moulding public opinion for different
social, cultural, intellectual and political activities. They address the public issues and are
able to gather huge crowd through lectures, seminars, symposia, workshops and conferences.
They try to establish personal and emotional bond with the public and motivate them
towards positive and healthy steps.
21.3.6 Political parties and their activities
Political parties formulate and organize public opinion. They are called mobilisers of opinion.
Political parties not only make the people aware of various public issues. Their purpose is
to make the people politically conscious to think about public problems. Political parties
publish journals, pamphlets, leaflets, manifestoes, posters etc. to mould the public opinion
in their favour.
21.3.7 Opinion Polls
Opinion polls serve to indicate public opinion at the time of their being taken. They are a
very effective way of gathering information about public attitude and opinion on various
political, social, cultural, economical etc. matters. They are normally conducted by
professional agencies selecting representative samples of population. Of late they are
becoming a very useful and popular method to understand and analyse public opinion.
MODULE - 4
Notes
230
Political Science
Democracy at Work
There have been instances when these opinion polls have not been able to analyse the
situation correctly and the results or predictions have been falsified. But they surely have
significant influence on public opinion.
21.3.8 Educational Institutions
They include schools, colleges, literary clubs, study circles, universities and libraries etc.
They can mould public opinion to a great extent. The adolescents get easily swayed by the
opinion of others. Therefore the right kind of training is very important for this age group.
Eminent leaders, scholars and educationists help in moulding their leadership qualities and
help in creating public opinion through Debates, Talks, Seminars etc. Various co-curricular
activities like Drama, Symposium, Painting/Slogan writing competition etc. also prove very
effective in sensitizing the students on important national and international issues.
There are certain limitations on the use of public opinion. It is believed that the public takes
interest in local and national affairs. The public is reasonably well informed. The public
thinks, with reason and logic and arrives at the rational conclusion. The opinion of the
public is expressed through the elections/polls. Public opinion always keeps the government
on its toes and the alert government makes the laws based on social and moral principles
expressed by it. Public opinion is the voice of interested spectators of action.
Public opinion reflects the plurality and diversity of opinions. Sometimes it is taken very
casually. It is more a matter of interpretation. Fault does not lie with the opinion but with
the interpretation. At times, sample may also not be appropriate. In modern mass societies
people read, listen and see so much that it is not always easy for them to sift facts from
fiction. Hence, it poses a great challenge to people to make intelligent discrimination of
news and views. However, the fact remains that public opinion is very effective means of
communication between the government and the citizens.
Intext Questions 21.3
I. Tick ( ) the correct answer :
(a) Family and home are the informal agencies of influencing public opinion.
(True/False)
(a) Public opinion does not reflect the diversity of opinions. (True/False)
(c) The adolescents do not get swayed by the opinion of the others. (True/False)
(d) Opinion poll is the barometer to check the satisfaction of public towards government.
(True/False)
(e) Electronic media acts as a mirror of social life. (True/False)
(f) Public does not take interest in local and national affairs. (True/False)
II. Fill in the blanks :
(a) Television and Radio play an important part in moulding the opinion of the
_____________ masses also. (educated/uneducated)
MODULE - 4
Notes
231
Public Opinion and Pressure Groups
Democracy at Work (b) Cinema and documentary films have their ___________ impact on the thinking of
the people. (natural/unnatural)
(c) Public meetings establish a personal contact between the speaker and the
___________. (audience/spectators)
21.4 Hindrances in The Formation of Sound Public Opinion
Public opinion will not be a true reflection of the ideas of public until the following hindrances
are eradicated :
(a) Indifferent Attitude: Generally, people like to keep themselves away from political
activities. They do not take interest in public affairs. Generally they think that their
involvement in political decision making is not required. There is a need to change the
indifferent attitude and adopt participatory approach. People should be motivated to take
interest in the affairs of their own country. People have to be sensitized towards important
issues related to unity, integrity and development of the nation.
(b) Illiteracy: Educated and enlightened people are expected to be good voters and citizens.
Illiterate people on the other hand, have a limited knowledge and they do not understand
the political problems. They are not capable of forming an intelligent and rational opinion
and are guided by passion and sentiments. Ignorance born of illiteracy is a curse for social
life. A sound public opinion can be formulated only in the environment of knowledge and
education.
(c) Poverty: The poor are always isolated from politics. They do not find time to devote
their attention to public affairs. They get easily influenced by the tall talks of the political
leaders and cast or even sell their votes. The government, non-governmental organisation
and pressure groups have to play their effective role. The wide gap between the rich and
the poor has to be minimized and the distribution of wealth must be equitable. Sound and
healthy public opinion is possible only by alleviating poverty.
(d) Disharmony amongst various castes and communities: The people and political
parties, in democracy have to rise above the feelings and emotions of casteism and
communalism. They should not divide themselves into narrow walls of religion and sect.
Religion and politics should be kept separate. Social harmony in the country would provide
a better platform for sound and healthy public opinion.
(e) Free Press: Unbiased, objective and independent press and fearless media play a
very significant role in the formation of healthy opinion. Press should not be influenced by
religious capitalist or regional interests. Free press should present the authentic and impartial
report.
Intext Questions 21.4
Fill in the blanks :
(a) For sound public opinion, the press has to be ______________ (partial/impartial)
and ____________. (free/biased)
MODULE - 4
Notes
232
Political Science
Democracy at Work
(b) The people and political parties in democracy have to rise above the feelings of
________________ and _________________. (castes and communities /
secularism and patriotism)
(c) Sound and healthy public opinion demands economically _______________ society.
(balanced/imbalanced)
21.5 Pressure Groups
You have learnt about public opinion that how does it help in influencing government
policies. Besides political parties, there are some voluntary groups that exist to protect the
special interest of the individuals in the society.
Pressure or interest groups are organized groups, having common and social interests,
concerned with influencing decision making by putting pressure from outside. Pressure
groups have voluntary membership and are found in every country.
These pressure groups have a limited and narrow focused issue. They have an informal,
closed and unrecognized character. They, unlike political parties, do not contest elections.
They put pressure on the government through various techniques so are called pressure
groups. Despite this, they play an important role in the politics of the country. The pressure
groups contribute to the political activities of the political parties and help in mobilizing the
public opinion.
Different types of party systems give rise to different forms of pressure group activities.
The method and style of work of the pressure groups vary in different political systems. It
is controlled mainly by five factors: –
(i) the pattern of political institutions,
(ii) the nature of party system,
(iii) the political culture and attitudes of leaders and people,
(iv) the nature of the issues and problems confronted and
(v) the character and type of the concerned interest groups.
Intext Questions 21.5
Fill in the blanks :
(a) Pressure groups are called pressure groups because they put ___________on the
government. (pressure/criticism)
(b) Pressure groups are different from ___________ as they do not contest election.
(political parties, non voluntary groups)
(c) Pressure groups help in mobilizing the __________. (public opinion/ political parties)
(d) The method and style of work of the pressure groups ___________ (vary/ is same)
in different political systems.
(e) The political culture and attitudes of leaders and people__________ (affect/ do not
affect) the working of the Pressure Groups.
MODULE - 4
Notes
233
Public Opinion and Pressure Groups
Democracy at Work
21.6 Classification of Pressure Groups in India
As you have already read that there are pressure groups in every country, India is no
exception. They influence decision making to serve their own interests. Broadly they can
be put into four categories according to their aims and objectives which are given below :
Profession Socio-Cultural
Pressure Pressure
Groups Groups
Institutional Pressure
Pressure Groups
Group Ad-hoc
(a) Professional Pressure Groups: - This category includes the pressure groups that
are formed by the employees of a particular occupation or profession for the protection of
their interests. The big business houses with their vast outlay of resources, availability of
technical and managerial personnel and due to close links elite groups in government,
media, administration and opposition parties have always had the most organized and
powerful pressure groups at their command.
Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry
Several big business houses have a powerful lobby in the parliament and in the legislature.
They also have representatives and Public Relations Officers who keep in touch with
administration and top bureaucracy. The largest and the most influencial organization of
private capital in India is the FICCI. It represents more than 40,000 firms. It has a large
business corporate world with it. The political parties are dependent on it for funds. In turn
they serve their interests in giving them the concession in the form of trade, tariff, investment
tax etc. In the contemporary scenario of globalisation and liberalization, the role of FICCI
is all the more important. The government seeks the suggestions and advice of this group
particularly on major policy issues of economical and commercial nature.
The other known business groups like ASSOCHAM i.e. Associated Chambers of
Commerce, Confederation of Indian Industries.(CII) the Tatas, Birlas, DCM, Dalmia and
Hindustan Lever etc. They all try to influence the industrial policies and laws of the
government.
MODULE - 4
Notes
234
Political Science
Democracy at Work
Professional pressure groups also includes Trade Unions, Peasant organizations, Teachers
and students organizations and also other association like All India Medical Association,
All India Postal & Telegraph Workers Union etc. Thus, the influence of big business on
financial, industrial and commercial politics of the country over the years has been
considerable.
The history of Trade Unions and Peasant Organisations dates back to the period before
independence. All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) was formed in 1920 with the
objective to promote socio economic interests of the working class. Hind Mazdoor Sangh,
Centre of India Trade unions (CITU) are the examples of these types of Trade Unions.
The other trade unions in other parts of the country in electricity, water, banks, insurance
etc. are somewhat affiliated to the All India organisations.
It has been observed that political parties have been exploiting the farmers and the peasants
for their own interests. So there was a call for them to unite to get their interests fulfilled.
They all want their interest in the field of agriculture should be duly protected. Their chief
objectives include getting higher prices for agriculture products, subsidy for fertilizers
availability of loans and manures etc. Farmer’s organizations like Bhartiya Kisan Union in
Haryana, U.P. and Punjab, Karnataka Rajya Sabha etc. influence the decisions of the
government in the agricultural field. They also contribute to the sharpening of national
awareness and class- consciousness. They do not have the money power of the capital
but have the will and solidarity to work for the upliftment of the downdrodden.
In the educational field also the students, the teachers, non-vocational staff (school, college,
university) have their unions to mobilize the public opinion and also to influence the
government for their protection of their interests like, P.F., Gratuity, Bonus, LTC Facility,
Leaves opening of more professional institutions, adequate transporation facilities, fee
structure etc. e.g. National Students Union of India, Bhartiya Janata Yuva Morcha, All
India Teachers Association, All India Students Union, Delhi University Students Union
etc.
(b) Socio Cultural Pressure Groups: There are various kinds of socio cultural pressure
groups which are concerned with community service and the promotion of the interests of
the whole community. Also there are a few for the promotion of their language and religion.
Examples are given below:
Arya Pratinidhi Sabha, Jan Sewa Sangh, Rama Krishna Mission, Arya Samaj, Jamat-I-
Islami, Rashtriya Sawayam Sewak Sangh, Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Shiromani Gurudwara
Prabandhak Committee, Parsee Anymans, Young Men Christian Association, Bajrang Dal,
Sanskrit Sahitya Academy, Panjabi Academy, Marathi Sangh, Bhartiya Adim Jati Sangh,
Sernarthi of People Society.
(c) Institutional Pressure Groups: There are certain pressure groups that are working
within the governmental machinery itself. They influence the government policies in their
favour without directly getting involved in the political system. The pressure groups like
Civil Services Association, Police Welfare organization, Gazetted Officers Union, Defence
Personnel Association, Army Officers organizations Red Cross Society etc. all came under
this category. The decision on matters such as transfers-leave rules, adequate D.A. due to
inflation, allocation of duties etc. are influenced by these pressure groups. Although their
activities are public, they remain very active within the system.
MODULE - 4
Notes
235
Public Opinion and Pressure Groups
Democracy at Work (d) Adhoc pressure Groups: Some pressure groups come into existence for a very
short period with the objective of pressuring the government for a specific task. Once the
purpose is served, they cease to exist. In case of any urgency, natural calamity or adversity,
these pressure groups pressurize or influence the government policies in their interest. The
pressure group like Orissa Relief Organisation, Bhoodan Anuyojna, Kaveri Water
Distribution Association, Gujrat Relief Association etc.
21.7 Role of Pressure Groups
Pressure group activity has been referred to as ‘Lobby’. Lobby is originally an American
term, but now used not only in European democracies but also in Japan and other parts of
the world as well. It refers to lobbies in Parliament where the MPs or Legislators meet
and discuss matters in relation to the business of the house.
Pressure Groups play a very important role in the Indian political system. They act as a
link and source of communication between the masses and the political parties. They
sensitize the public towards various socio economic issues thereby educating them politically.
They produce very effective leadership and also as a training platform for future political
leaders. It also bridges the gap between various traditional values in the society. Establishment
of unity and integrity are the key results of the pressure groups. Therefore it is very clear
that pressure groups influence both the government and the administrative policies. You
have already learnt earlier about various pressure groups working in India.
Political institutions of a country determine the activities of pressure groups and their main
targets. In U.K., U.S.A. France and other democracies, the pressure groups have more
opportunities of influencing the governmental decisions. In Britain, since the cabinet and
the civil services are more effective, rather than MPs, it is more useful to get access to the
former rather than the latter. It is more profitable to cultivate members of the cabinet and
civil service than lobby in the House of Commons. In the USA, with the strong congressional
committee system, and its powerful chairman it is more advantageous to concentrate on
them. In U.S.A. the chamber of commerce and manufacturers organizations are supposed
to be very powerful pressure group. In France the administration, rather than the National
Assembly, is the target of the interest groups.
Although several Pressure Groups and lobbies in USA keep a distant relationship with the
political parties yet the powerful trade unions have close ties with the political parties – for
example the AFL-CIO-American Federation of Labour Congress of the Industrial
organization with Democratic Party, British Trade Union with Labour Party, Roman Catholic
Church with Christian Democratic Parties of Germany and Italy.
Intext Questions 21.6
Fill in the blanks :
(a) Pressure Groups sensitize public towards various __________ issues. (public/private)
(b) They act as a link between the _______ and the _________ . (government, citizens/
government, political parties)
(c) ___________ of a country determine the activities of pressure groups and their
main targets. (political institutions/social institutions)
MODULE - 4
Notes
236
Political Science
Democracy at Work
21.8 Methods of Pressure Groups
It is the constant endeavour of the pressure groups to establish links with the government
officials and ministers. The pressure groups adopt various methods to influence the process
of the government. These methods are dependent on the nature of political system and the
type of society in the country. They send petitions and request letters for the fulfillment of
their demands. They are always making efforts of keeping public opinion in their favour.
The mass media both electronic and print, is very commonly used by the pressure groups
for conveying their feelings and opinions to the government. They try to mould or influence
the public opinion by using various publicity measures. The pressure groups, through lobbying
try to exert their pressure on the government. The pressure groups have opportunities of
influencing the judiciary also to some extent. They try to influence the selection of judges
and launch campaigns to influence the judicial decisions. Therefore it can be established
that pressure groups have become an integral part of every democratic political system.
They also maintain the democratic spirit and ethos of a nation. Pressure groups have also
been criticized on certain grounds specially of their uncalled for tactics and double standards
to corrupt the bureaucracy. The powerful groups manage to get their demands fulfilled
while the weak groups are not even heard. Sometimes, the trade unions and the other
associations get even unjust demands fulfilled due to their influence. Actually, the influence
of a pressure group depends on the factors like its own organizational strength, discipline,
commitment of its members, capacity to collect the people’s sympathy and support and
financial position and above all its access to decision making bodies.
The pressure groups working for the political cause, persons etc. adopt some extremist
measures like rallies, dharnas, demonstrations and hunger strike etc.
The pressure groups working for human causes like peace, environment protection and
human rights etc. adopt a method of building enlightened public opinion and creating a
good sense of compassion and reasoning. They work through organizing occasional national
campaigns and international solidarity activities. Movement against AIDS, Terrorism, nuclear
bomb etc. are the examples of such campaigns.
Intext Questions 21.7
Fill in the blanks :
(a) The pressure groups adopt __________ methods to pressurise the government.
(liberal/extremist)
(b) The _____________ pressure groups are able to get their demands fulfilled. (strong/
weak)
(c) The pressure groups try to mould the public opinion by using various ____________
methods. (publicity/confidential)
What You Have Learnt
In this chapter, you have learnt about the public opinion and pressure groups in India.
Public opinion is a social product due to the interaction of many minds. It has been defined
as the collectivity of individual opinions of a designated public. Public opinion may change
MODULE - 4
Notes
237
Public Opinion and Pressure Groups
Democracy at Work
with the circumstances, time and new information. Public opinion is considered to be the
essential element for successful working of democratic communication in the system.
The governmental policies are invariably affected by public opinion on various issues.
The agencies like electronic and print media, opinion polls, political socialization, political
parties etc. play a very effective role in the formation of public opinion. Public opinion will
not be a true reflection of the ideas of public until the hindrances like indifferent attitude,
illiteracy, poverty, dishonest and partial press are removed.
You have read that unlike political parties, there exist some voluntary organised groups to
protect the special interests of the individuals in the society. They put pressure on the
government through various techniques and are called pressure groups. The method and
style of work of the pressure groups depend on the pattern and nature of party system in
the country. You have read about the pressure groups like FICCI, Trade Unions etc. in
India and also in other countries. The pressure groups adopt various democratic and
undemocratic methods to set their demands fulfilled by the government. But they play
significant role in moulding the policies of the government.
Terminal Exercises
1. Define Public Opinion.
2. Examine the role of public opinion in the democratic system of India.
3. Describe the various agencies of public opinion.
4. Analyse the hindrances in the formation of sound public opinion.
5. On what basis do we classify the pressure groups in India?
6. Discuss the role of pressure groups.
7. Evaluate the methods adopted by the pressure groups in India.
Answers to Intext Questions
21.1
(a) common
(b) organised and considered
(c) is not
(d) is no
21.2
I. (a) public opinion
(b) watchdog
(c) are
II. (a) False
MODULE - 4
Notes
238
Political Science
Democracy at Work (b) True
(c) False
(d) True
21.3
I (a) True
(b) False
(c) False
(d) True
(e) True
(f) False
II. (a) uneducated
(b) natural
(c) audience
21.4
(a) impartial and free
(b) castes and communities
(c) balanced
21.5
(a) pressure
(b) political parties
(c) public opinion
(d) vary
(e) affect
21.6
(a) public
(b) government and citizens
(c) political institutions
21.7
(a) extremist
(b) strong
(c) publicity
MODULE - 4
Notes
239
Public Opinion and Pressure Groups
Democracy at Work
Hints of Terminal Exercises
1. Refer to section 21.1
2. Refer to section 21.2
3. Refer to section 21.3
4. Refer to section 21.4
5. Refer to section 21.6
6. Refer to section 21.7
7. Refer to section 21.8



By Peer we mean a group of people of approximately the same age, status,
and interests and Peer Pressure is a term describing a person’s changes, or
temptations to change, in attitude, behaviour and morals as directly
influenced by their peer group.

Let us ponder over adolescence issues
MODULE - 5
Notes
240
Political Science
Major Contemporary
Issues
22
COMMUNALISM, CASTE AND
RESERVATIONS
n a democratic system, it is quite common that people use different methods for expressing
solidarity and achieving political power. In a country like India, politics has been dominated
by promoting communalism and castism. The social diversities and disparities in our country
are understood in terms of the existence of many groups linked to a caste or religion.
Tensions have prevailed for long among them due to suspicion, economic deprivation and
social dissemination. Playing up these factors and pitting one group against another describes
the politics of communalism and castism. These trends have vitiated not only the democratic
process at the time of election, but have also become serious obstacles to good governance,
economic development and social harmony. For upliftment of the backward and
downtrodden classes, provision has been made for reservation.
In this lesson, we will understand the use of caste and religious identity, its significance
and also effects on Indian political system.
Objectives
After studying this lesson, you will be able to
explain the meaning of communalism ;
describe the impact of communalism on Indian Politics ;
explain various factors behind communal violence ;
explain the role of caste in our society ;
describe the impact of casteism upon the Indian electoral system ;
describe the reservation policy and the rationale behind it ;
describe the various constitutional provisions for reservation ;
recognise the importance of women’s reservation ;
analyse reservation policy in the context of electoral politics.
I
MODULE - 5
Notes
241
Communalism, Caste and Reservations
Major Contemporary
Issues
22.1 Meaning of Communalism
India is a land of multiple faiths and religions leading often to violence and hatred among
the people. Those who fan this religious violence do not consider religion as a moral order
but use it as a means and weapon to pursue their political ambitions. Communalism essentially
leads to violence as it is based on mutual religious hatred. This phenomenon leads to
distinction between a communal organisation and a religious organisation. Communalism
essentially has following main features.
1) It is based on orthodoxy.
2) It is exclusive in out look, a communalist considers his own religion to be superior to
other religions.
3) It is based on intolerance.
4) It also propagates intense dislike of other religions.
5) It stands for elimination of other religions and its values.
6) It adopts extremist tactics including use of violence against other people.
22.2 Impact of Communalism
Communalism has divided our society for long. It causes belief in orthodox tenets and
principles, intolerance hatred of other religions and religious group, distortion of historical
facts and communal violence.
22.2.1 Communal Violence
Most communal riots prior to 1947 were rooted in the ‘divide and rule’ policy of the British
colonial rule. But after the partition of the country, sections of the Indian elite from both
the communities are also to be blamed for the problem. Communal violence in independent
India has been caused by many factors. Some general factors are : First the class divisions
of our society and the backwardness of our economy has resulted in uneven development
of the economy. It is the upper classes of the less-developed communities that have enjoyed
the fruits of limited growth and hence it is they who have also enjoyed political power.
Over a period of time some sections among this elite developed a sense of rivalry vis-à-vis
their counterparts in other communities. In order to draw support from the masses of their
own community, these leaders have often encouraged communal feelings to strengthen
their political support. Thus, the traditional beliefs of the society are perpetuated to the
advantage of the elites. When they, many among common people, feel insecure because
of some adverse circumstances, they often tend to rely on religion, which make them
vulnerable to political manipulation to inflame communal passions, some times leading to
violence.
Communal violence also increases because communal parties carry on religious propaganda
in an offensive manner, thereby creating ill-will among the members of the various
communities. The political parties in India which adopt a communal attitude should be
blamed for encouraging communal feelings which often cause communal violence.
Apart from these general factors, some specific local causes also account for communal
violence in India. First, because the power of smugglers and criminal gangs, local rivalries
MODULE - 5
Notes
242
Political Science
Major Contemporary
Issues
between traders of different communities often leads to such violence. Large cities are
also prone to periodic communal riots because of the power of smugglers and criminal
gangs. The communal violence after the demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1993 is an
example. Secondly, communal riots occur in towns which have a history of communal
riots. Aligarh and Hydrabad, among other cities, suffer from this trend. Presence of a
large proportion of religious minorities increases political rivalry between the upper strata
of both these communities who often appeal to their communal identity to gain support.
Whatever may be the cause of communal violence, whenever it occurs, it immediately
attracts attention of the nation. In our society class identities still remain submerged under
caste and communal identities. With economic problems becoming important, the ruling
elite of our country manages to convert economic problems like poverty unemployment,
price rise etc. into caste and communal ones. People should be careful not to be influenced
by such tactics. Economic problems of the people, like-poverty and unemployment must
be resolved in the country before the problem of communal violence can be totally eliminated.
Intext Questions 22.1
1. The growth of Communalism in India can be traced to
(a) ‘divide and rule’ of British
(b) Freedom Struggle
(c) India’s secular ideals
2. The chief characteristics of communalism are ____________ and _____________.
3. The nexus between political class and ___________ has often fanned communal
violence.
4. Economic problems of common people are solved through communalism.
( True/False )
22.3 Role of Caste in Indian Society
The political process of any society is influenced by the nature of the society. To understand
the nature of the society we study its social structure. India’s social structure is best
understood in terms of caste system wherein the cast is hierarchically arranged. Over the
years, the caste system developed into an elaborate system to maintain socio-economic
inequalities in the society. Individuals born in and belonging to the lower castes and the
out-castes suffered from many disadvantages and were oppressed and exploited by the
upper castes. The conditions of the outcastis (Dalits) was particularly pathetic. The practice
of untouchability epitomized their conditions.
1. In the typical Varna-Vyvastha there are four Varnas: Brahmin (the priest and the
intellectual class), Kshatriya (warrior and the ruling class), Vaisyas (the producing class -
peasants and artisaas) and Shudra (those who performed menial and ‘polluting’ jobs.
One must note here that the ‘varna-vyvastha’ provides more the theory than the actuality
of the caste. In reality, there are not four but thousands of castes and jatis, in which the
caste system is organized. It is possible, nevertheless to classify most of the jatis in
MODULE - 5
Notes
243
Communalism, Caste and Reservations
Major Contemporary
Issues
accordance with the Varna distinctions, although it is easier to be done at the extreme ends
of the social spectrum than at the middle ranges. In other words, Varna system is related
to jati in that it gives a holistic frame-work to which any jati will fit.
2. Caste is a localized group having a traditional association with an occupation. The
principle of birth forms the exclusive basis of membership in a caste group. Accordingly,
the choice of occupation is not open but is determined on the basis of one’s birth in a caste.
In addition caste groups have rules governing food and marriage. The group defines rules
of behaviour for its members and exercise some degree of authority over them including
the right to expel those who defy its authority.
Caste as group identity, however, got strengthened in the new context of modern ideas and
institutions. This happened because it became one of the bases of political mobilization
among the many castes and classes before, during the freedom struggle and afterwords.
The socio-religious movements of the 19th century had made the lower castes conscious
of their backward conditions and also of their rights that had been denied to them over the
centuries. As a result, many amongst them were no longer prepared to accept their inferior
status as divinely ordained. In the backdrop of this awakening, the introduction of democratic
principle of governance, the emergence of party-centered politics and the attempt of the
British rulers to mobilize the lower and the out-castes along with the Muslims in its support
to thwart the growing national movement — all combined to prepare the ground for the
politicization of the castes.
By the time India gained Independence, the Backward classes, because of politicization,
had become a force to reckon with. Their claims and demands could no longer be ignored.
At the same time the nationalist leaders were also committed to the task of improving their
conditions.
In light of the above, the constitution makers enjoined upon the new state to take positive
measures for bringing the backward classes at par with the rest of the society. They
realized that without the positive intervention by the state it would not be possible to remove
their historically accumulated backwardness. The policy of reservation for the backward
classes needs to be understood in this context. Backward classes refer to three categories
of the people — the scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and the other backward classes
(OBC).
Intext Questions 22.2
Fill in the blanks :
1) …………… are at the base of India’s social structure.
2) In the caste system, castes are __________________ arranged.
3) The caste system also known as _____________________ was based on the
__________________ division of labor.
4) In the caste system, the choice of occupation is not ____________ but is determined
on the basis of one’s __________________.
MODULE - 5
Notes
244
Political Science
Major Contemporary
Issues
22.4 Cast in Politics
Caste began to play an important role after independence as its involvement in politics
increased. The fact that it existed as easily identifiable social cluster of people made it an
easy object of political mobilization by political parties in their quest for political support
and votes. While the political parties sought to exploit caste for its own electoral purposes,
caste groups by making politics their sphere of activity got a chance to assert their identity
and bargain for benefits and position in society. Thus, caste and politics interaction has
been a two-way process.
In politicizing the castes, the caste associations played a crucial role. Caste associations
were quasi-voluntary associations in the sense that its membership was open only to the
individuals of the caste community. These associations were formed to secure economic
benefits or educational openings or for more clearly political purpose of uniting to fight the
hegemony of the upper castes. In either case, involvement in politics was considered
necessary for securing the specific purpose for which they were formed. Thus, once
formed on the basis of caste identity, caste associations went on to acquire non-caste
functions.
In electoral politics the role of the caste in politics has become powerful. This can be seen
at all levels of the political process of the country. All political parties tend to give party
ticket to candidates for contesting elections from amongst the numerically or otherwise
dominant caste in every constituency. Major caste groups get representation in the council
of ministers. Be it elections, political appointments or even formation of political parties,
caste has been the major consideration.
The influence of caste, however, varies depending upon the level of election and the
region. Its influence is far more at the local and state-level political process than at the
national level. Caste plays greater role in the rural than in urban areas. In the rural areas
and at the local level, the smallness of consituency and the fact that there is greater face
to face interactions account for the strong influence of caste in politics.
Since independence two factors have especially brought the issue of caste in Indian politics
into sharp focus. These are (1) the introduction of universal adult franchise and (2) the
constitutional provisions for protective discrimination in favour of the backward classes.
The introduction of universal adult franchise brought a very large section of the populace,
who had been hitherto excluded on account of property qualification to vote, into the arena
of electoral politics. This made the task of mobilizing votes enormously difficult for the
political parties. The daunting task was, however, made easy when political parties relied
upon castes to get their votes. In the process castes’ involvement in politics deepened with
every election in India.
In addition to the enlarged arena of electoral politics, the constitutional provisions for
protective discrimination also provided the ground for castes to play a significant role in
politics.
One may note here that protective discrimination was meant for three categories of people
– the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes and the OBC — collectively called as the
backward classes. Of these three categories, the SCs and STs were easily identifiable
and-there was a large measure of consensus on the need and the desireability of having
reservations for them. But the case of the OBCs was different.
MODULE - 5
Notes
245
Communalism, Caste and Reservations
Major Contemporary
Issues
Since Independence two types of caste politics can be discerned. The first type involved
the caste groups clamouring either for being recognised as OBC by the state governments
or those already recognised for getting a higher quota in the reservations. The decision of
the State governments to appoint Backward classes Commission from time to time provided
the occasion for such caste politics to flourish. The second type of caste politics, involved
mobilization of social and political forces for and against reservations for the OBC based
solely on caste criteria. The extent of castes involvement in politics can be appreciated by
noting a simple fact that over 50% of the populace belong to the category of the OBCs.
While the first type of caste politics sought to influence the reservation policy of the state
government, the second type of caste politics was aimed to resist the reservation policy of
the central government.
The reservation issue thus, provided a fertile ground for castes to play an active role in
politics.
22.5 Reservation Policy
22.5.1 Rationale
Keeping in mind the backward conditions of the backward classes, the constitution makers
also made special provisions for the upliftment of the backward classes. The special
provisions are in the form of protective discrimination. The policy of reservation is an
instance of protective discrimination. Before we discuss the policy of reservation and its
constitutional provisions, let us briefly look at the constitutional provisions relating to the
backward classes.
Articles 38 and 46 in the chapter of Directive principles, enjoin upon the state the duty to
strive for the welfare of the people in general and the backward classes in particular.
Article 38 states: 1) the state shall strive to promote the welfare of the people by securing
and promoting as effectively as it may a social order in which Justice — social, economic
and political shall form all institutions of national life; 2) the state shall in particular, strive to
minimize the inequalities in income, and endeavour to eliminate the inequalities in status,
facilities and opportunities not only amongst individuals but also amongst group of people
residing in different areas and engaged in different vocations.
Article 46 stipulates: “The state shall promote with special care the educational and the
economic interest of the weaker sections of the people and in particular, of the Scheduled
Castes and Tribes and shall protect them from injustices and all forms of exploitation.”
The policy of reservation is based on the principle of protective discrimination. Protective
discrimination in favour of the backward .classes was felt necessary by the constitution
makers because of the realization that equality of opportunity alone would not suffice to
bring the backward classes at par with the rest of the society. Equality of opportunity in
absence of equality of conditions would result in deepening of inequality instead of promoting
equality. One must note here that the provision of protective discrimination is not an exception
to but integral to the Right to Equality.
22.5.2 Reservations for SCs and STs
The constitution recognizes three categories of people as backward classes. In this section
we will deal with the provisions relating to the SCs and STs.
MODULE - 5
Notes
246
Political Science
Major Contemporary
Issues
The constitution provides for three types of reservations for the SCs and STs. These are
(1) reservation of jobs in government services and in public sector, (2) reservation in
educational institutions, and (3) reservations in legislative representations.
Under Articles 16(A), 320(4) and 333, 15% and 7% of the jobs are reserved at all levels in
the public services for the SCs and STs respectively. This reservation however, must as
far as it may be, consistent with the maintenance of efficiency of the administration (Article
35).
Article 15(4) deals with the reservation of seats in the educational institutions. Article
15(4) states: “Nothing in Article 15 or clause (2) of Article 29 shall prevent the state from
making any special provision for the advancement of any socially and educationally backward
classes of citizens or for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.” Accordingly, the
Union and the State governments have reserved 20% of the seats in all educational
institutions maintained by public money. Moreover, qualifications for admission have also
been relaxed for the SCs and STs so that they can get access to educational opportunities.
Articles 330 and 332 provide for reservation of seats in the Lok Sabha and State Legislative
Assemblies. 78 seats for the SCs and 38 seats for the STs are reserved in the Lok Sabha.
In State Legislative Assemblies 540 and 282 seats ar reserved for SCs and STs respectively.
Moreover seats are also reserved in the Panchayati Raj institutions.
22.5.3 Reservations for the OBCs
As we have already noted, the task of specifying and identifying other Backwars Classes
(OBCS) was left to the union and state government.
In many States where the backward classes movement was strong, such as in Tamil
Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Gujarat, Bihar, to name a few, the state governments have
reserved jobs at all levels in the public services and seats in educational institutions.
The Union government, however, took a very long time in deciding to provide reservation
to the OBCs in the central services. The Union government had as early as 1953 appointed
Kalelkar Commission under Article 340. The Commission submitted its report in 1956, but
its recommendations were not implemented by the Union government. The second
Commission under Article 340 was appointed by the Janta Party Government in 1978.
This Commission known as Mandal Commission submitted its report in 1982. It identified
3943 castes as OBC and recommended 27% reservation in government and semi-
government jobs and admission to educational institutions.
On 13th August 1990 the Union Government headed by V.P. Singh issued an office
memorandum extending reservation to the OBCs on the lines recommended by the Mandal
Commission. Soon thereafter, widespread protests were staged. Writ petitions were filed
in Supreme Court and many High Courts questioning this measure. The Supreme Court
examined the issue in November 1992 and permitted the Union Government to reserve
27% of the jobs for the OBCs subject to the exclusion of the ‘creamy layer’ among the
OBCs. Ramanand Prasad committee was set up by the Union government to identify the
“creamy layer”. Once it had done its job, the government executed the order of 13th
August 1990 in September 1993.
Thus, we can see that it took nearly forty years for the union government to provide the
benefits of reservations to the OBCs. It also took as much time to accept caste as a valid
basis for the identification of socially and educationally backward classes.
MODULE - 5
Notes
247
Communalism, Caste and Reservations
Major Contemporary
Issues
We must also note that benefits of reservation to the OBC apply only to government jobs
but no seats have been reserved for the OBC in Lok Sabha, and State Legislative
Assemblies — a benefit which has been given to the SCs and STs.
22.5.4 Importance of Woman’s Reservation
Women constitute nearly half of the entire Indian population. But condition of women in
India is miserable, due to illiteracy, poverty and backward social values. Keeping in view
the prevalent circumstances, reservation for the women was started to emancipate the
women from the drudgery of household. A debate has been going on to ensure women’s
reservation at every level of representative system of Indian Democracy and even in the
state administrative services. Under the Panchayati Raj system women’s seats have been
reserved at both the Panchayat level, and the block & district levels. Some political parties
are also debating the issue of giving at least 30% tickets to women candidates for contesting
elections of state legislative assembly and also for the parliamentary elections but women’s
reservation bill is still pending in the parliament.
Intext Questions 22.3
1. The constitution provides ________________ and _______________ percentage
of jobs to Schedule Caste and Schedules tribes.
2. The constitution does not identify other backward classes. (True/False)
3. Name the commission that recommended reservations to OBCs
(a) Sarkaria Commission
(b) Mandal Commission
(c) Ramanand Prasad Committee.
4. As per the Supreme Court ______________ is not eligible for OBC reservation.
What You Have Learnt
Communalism has divided Hindus and Muslism on religions lines and thwarted communal
harmony. The British during the colonial rule and the self centred political class promoted
religious extremism. As a result communal violence has disrupted normal life in the country
practically. The criminal forces also caught on to this. Minority communalism and majority
communalism alike are harmful to healthy democracy and economic progress.
In light of the historically accumulated backwardness of the backward classes and the
need to bring them at par with the rest of the society, constitution provided for protective
discrimination. Protective discrimination is not an exception but integral to the Right to
Equality. While the SCs and STs got the benefit of reservation from the state and central
governments since the inception of Indian Republic, the OBCs could get the benefits of
reservation in central services much later in 1993. No reservation in legislative
Representation is provided to the OBCs.
MODULE - 5
Notes
248
Political Science
Major Contemporary
Issues
Terminal Exercises
1) What is communalism?
2) Briefly discuss the role of caste in Indian Society?
3) Discuss about the Reservation Policy in India?
Answers to Intext Questions
22.1
1. (a).
2. Intolerance and extremism.
3. Criminals.
4. False.
22.2
1) Castes,
2) Hierarchically,
3) Varna-Vyvastha, social
4) Open, caste
22.3
1) 15 and 7.5
2) True
3) Mandal Commission
4) Creamy layer.
Hints for Terminal Exercises
1) Refer to Section 22.1
2) Refer to Section 22.3
3) Refer to Section 22.5
MODULE - 5
Notes
249
Envrionmental Awareness
Major Contemporary
Issues
23
ENVIRONMENTAL AWARENESS
nvironment includes all living and non-living objects. We live in the environment and
use the environmental resources like air, land and water to meet our needs. Development
also means meeting the needs of the people. While meeting the ever-growing needs, we
put pressure on the environment. When the pressure exceeds the carrying capacity of the
environment to repair or replace itself, it creates a serious problem of environmental
degradation. If we use any environmental resource such as ground water beyond its limit
of replacement, we may lose it forever. Therefore, there is a need to create ‘awareness’
about Environmental protection. While efforts are being made at the national and
international level to protect our environment, it is also the responsibility of every citizen to
use our environmental resources with care and protect them from degradation. In this
lesson we will discuss the meaning and causes of environmental degradation and the
importance of environmental conservation.
Objectives
After studying this lesson, the learner will be able to
explain the concept of environmental degradation ;
identify various factors causing environmental degradation ;
recognize the growing awareness about Environmental degradation ;
explain the concept of sustainable development ;
recognize the national and international commitment to the protection of Environment.
23.1 Environmental Degradation
Environment constitutes a very important part of our life. To understand life without studying
the impact of environment is simply impossible. The need to protect environment can be
ignored only at our peril. We use environmental resources in our day to day life. These
resources are renewable and non-renewable. We have to be more cautious in consuming
non-renewable resources like coal and petroleum, which are prone to depletion. All human
activities have an impact on environment. But in the last two centuries or so, the human
influence on environment has increased manifold due to the rapid population.
E
MODULE - 5
Notes
250
Political Science
Major Contemporary
Issues
growth and the fast development in science and technology. These two are the major
factors in reducing the quality of environment and causing its degradation.
The environmental degradation poses a great danger to man's own survival. It should be
realized, sooner than later, that conservation and improvement of the environment are vital
for the survival, and well being of mankind. Natural resources of land, air and water have
to be used wisely as a trust to ensure a healthy environment for the present and future
generations.
23.1.1 Envirnomental Problem
Some of the notable problem of environment can be identified as under: -
a. Land Air And Water : pollution of land and water has affected plants, animals and
human beings. The quality of soil is deterionating resulting in the loss of agricultural land.
The loss is estimated to be about five to seven million hectares of land each year. Soil
erosion, as a result of wind and/or water, costs the world dearly. The recurring floods have
their own peculiar casualties like deforestation, silt in the river bed, inadequate and improper
drainage, loss of men and property. The vast oceans, after being turned in to dumping
grounds for all nuclear wastes, have poisoned and polluted the whole natural environment.
b.Population Growth : population growth means more people to eat and breathe, and
putting an excessive pressure on land and forest, and ultimately disturbing the ecological
balance.
Our growing population is putting pressure on land, leading to poor quality of productivity,
deforestation (the loss of forest land so necessary for ecological balance and exitinction of
wild life leading to imbalance in the ecological order, loss of wild life heritage and ultimately
dwindling of several species. The growing population is not only a problem for the natural
environment; it is a problem for any other aspect of environment, say, for example social,
economic, political etc.
c. Urbanization : Urbanization is no less a source of pollution, and therefore, a threat to
the environment. Urbanization means maddening race of people from villages to the cities.
The net result of urbanization is dirt, disease and disasters. In a state of growing urbanization,
environmental problem like sanitation, ill-heath, housing, water-supply and electricity keep
expanding. On the other, the environmental degradation is caused in the rural life due to
indiscriminate collection of firewood, overgrazing and depletion of other natural resources.
d. Industrialization : Industrialization coupled with the development of the means of
transport and communication has not only polluted the environment, but also has led to the
shrinking of the natural resources. Both ways, the loss is really heavy. Increasing level of
heat fluxes, carbon dioxide and particulate, radioactive nuclear wastes and the like create
environment hazards. On the other hand, the consumption of conventional source of energy
leads to the loss of natural resource. We are building a world without caring for future
generations.
Intext Questions 23.1
Identify The True and False statement
1. Coal is a renewable resource.
MODULE - 5
Notes
251
Envrionmental Awareness
Major Contemporary
Issues
2. The fast development in science and technology is a major factor contributing to the
environmental degradation.
3. The growing population in India does not contribute to the environmental degradation.
4. Trees are a good example of non-renewable resource.
23.2 Awareness about Environmental Protection
In the past two decades, environment has attracted the attention of decision makers,
scientists and even laymen in many parts of the world. They are becoming increasingly
conscious of issues such as famines, droughts, floods, scarcity of fuel, firewood and fodder,
pollution of air and water, problems of hazardous chemicals and radiation, depletion of
natural resources, extinction of wildlife and dangers to flora and fauna. People are now
aware of the need to protect the natural environmental resources of air, water, soil and
plant life that constitute the natural capital on which man depends.
The environmental issues are important because the absence of their solutions is more
horrible. Unless environmental issues are not solved or not taken care of the coming
generations may find earth worth not living. The need of the planet and the needs of the
person have become one.
There is no denying the fact that environment has to be protected and conserved so to
make future life possible. Indeed, man's needs are increasing and accordingly the
environment is also being altered, indeed, nature's capacity is too accommodating and too
regenerative yet there is a limit to nature's capacity, especially when pressure of exploding
population and technology keep mounting. What is required is the sustenance, conservation
and improvement of the changing and fragile environment.
23.3 The Concept of Sustainable Development
The world commission on environment and development (the Brundtland commission)
submitted its report entitled “Our common future’ in 1987. This report highlighted and
popularised the concept of 'sustainable development'. Sustainable development has been
defined on meeting the needs of the present generation without compromising the need of
future generations. All developmental activities involve some amount of environmental
degradation. What is required is to take into account the damage to environment as a
result of development, and strike a balance between development and environmental
protection. The aim should be to achieve sustainable levels of people's welfare and
development. The primary concern is how many people can ultimately be supported by
environment and at what level of quality of life.
The mainstream greens scholars like Carr, Brown, Dala, Schumacher. Does not make
sense and others, all lay stress on "sustainability" of environment together with development.
The emphasis of the mainstream green' are not on pollution, but on (1) energy and its
resource may be renewed, and be kept renewing, (2) the waste be changed into
raw-material, raw-material into waste, waste into raw- material: recycling of waste into
raw-material; (3) gross national product and its growth targets need not be sought, but
what should be sought is the satisfaction of real human needs'. The greens say that growth
means cancer, a cancer that threatens to spread worldwide, and destroy all life. They
MODULE - 5
Notes
252
Political Science
Major Contemporary
Issues
accept industry if it is on small scale and is for purpose of self-sufficiency. They advocate
extensive decentralization.
The concept of sustainable development is more about environment and less about
development; more about stability and less about change; more about restricting one's
wants and less about the continuing material development more about the non-exploitative
attitude towards environment and less about harnessing it; more about small communities
and less about the larger ones. It is not a concept of development with environment, but is
environment without growth.
Indeed, ecological degradation should stop. But why should the pace of development stop?
A disciplined uses of environmental benefits go a long way for all round development.
Scholars and activists assert that environmental degradation can be controlled and reversed
only by ensuring that the parties causing the damage should be made accountable for their
action and that they should participate in improving environmental conditions. What is
needed is a set of norms, which bring the demands of development and the compulsion of
environment closer to each other.
23.4 National and International Efforts
In India, the environmental awareness gained importance since 1970s after the UN
sponsored conference on environment in Stockholm (1972). Indian government took many
environment friendly activities. Ministry of environment and forest was established and
laws were enacted on environment protection in 1986.
The objective of India's National Environment policy, here, are worth stating.
1) Conserve and develop safe, healthy, productive, and aesthetically satisfying
environment ;
2) Upgrade, develop and manage rural and urban settlement to enhance the quality of
life ;
3) Plan development on sound ecological principles with environmental impact
assessment and incorporating appropriate environmental safeguards ;
4) Promote environmental safety-technologies, recycling of resources and utilization of
wastes ;
5) Conserve the biotic diversity in the country by creating nature reserves and sanctuaries
for specific habitats such as mountains, rain forests, pastures, deserts, wet lands,
lakes, beaches, mangroves, estuaries, lagoons and island ;
6) Safeguard the environment within the national maritime Exclusive Economic Zone ;
7) Evolve environmental norms and establish effective mechanism for monitoring
surveillance and collection and dissemination of information ;
8) Preserve science landscapes, as well as historic and cultural monuments and their
environs ;
9) Promote environmental education at all level and create public awareness ;
10) Encourage research in environmental science and technological and social
investigation to conserve and improve the environment and
MODULE - 5
Notes
253
Envrionmental Awareness
Major Contemporary
Issues
11) Develop adequate manpower within the country, of ecologists, environmental
scientists, planners and managers of the highest quality and recognize their work as
an important component of national development.
23.5 National and International Commitment to The Protection
of Environment
The growing awareness about environmental protection has resulted in new measures
across the world. The late Prime minister Mrs. Indira Gandhi was the only Head of
Government, attending the 1972 Stockholm conference, which was called the “U.N.
Conference on Human environment”. The Rio Conference 20 years later was called
the “U.N. Conference on Environment and Development”. It was Mrs. Gandhi who
first pointed out that poverty was the greatest polluter and unless it was eliminated
through national and international efforts it was futile to talk about protecting the
planet from environmental disaster. UNDP, the World Bank and other institutions of
the U.N. system are now advocating the elimination of poverty as the central task in
sustainable development. Indeed environmental and development polices are seen as
complementing each other. The conflicted between the requirement of long-term
environmental interests and the immediate compulsions of development is certainly
to be resolved. But any world order cannot be sustainable if three-fourths of its
population continues to live in poverty. Environmental rights and developmental rights
together constitute the democratic and human rights of all the people of the world.
The Montreal convention and the conventions on climate change; bio-diversity and
forest adopted at Rio are important landmarks in the world movement for sustainable
development and environmental protection. India has accepted these conventions
and is taking systematic measures to implement them. An environmental action
programme funded by U.N.D.P.is under implementation. There are 31 schemes for
industrial pollution control approved by the World Bank, involving of US. $ 105 million.
On the anvil are common effluent plants for small industries located in a cluster, the
big plants being looked after individually. Seventeen grossly polluting industries have
been identified for environment control within a time schedule. For certain categories
of industries, prior environment clearance is compulsory before they can be set up. In
regard to transport pollution apart from conversation measures, population free engines
are being designed, some of which have already been introduced for two-wheelers,
three-wheelers and some of the popular cars. A National Forestry Plan is in progress.
Environmental Brigades, Afforestation Brigades and Ecological task Force have been
organized by Non-government organizations (NGOs.) India's wild life conservation
projects have met with remarkable success. India has a protected network of 75
national parks and 421 wild life sanctuaries. The Tiger project has been a great success.
India also has an elaborate laws relating to the prevention of pollution of water, soil
and air and a system of environmental audit of most industrial projects. While this is
voluntary for most countries, India has a mandatory rule in this regard. India is
also engaged in serious and systematic efforts to develop alternative and renewable
sources of energy like solar, wind and wave energy which are environment friendly.
Emphasis is laid on solar energy on which some significant technological progress
has been made. India is taking all these measures partially with international assistance.
MODULE - 5
Notes
254
Political Science
Major Contemporary
Issues
23.6 Some Measures taken by Indian Government to Check
Environmental Pollution
1) Environmental Courts: Special courts are being set up to ensure speedy justice of
the poor against factories that pollute the Environment.
2) Environment Friendly Products : The government is setting stringent standards
for all products in the market. Those, which meet these standards of production and
performance will be given the label of excellence like the ISI mark.
3) Unleading Of Petrol : Refineries are being persuaded to make their petrol lead
free. Indian petrol has the highest lead content, which creates major pollution through
automobiles.
4) Ban On Harmful Pesticides: Eight chemical pesticides, of which DDT, BHC,
Aldrin and Malathion are the main culprits have been isolated. There are now plans
to replace them with safe biopesticides.
5) National Waste Management Council: The main task is to convert 40 million
tones of flyash, that lie as a mountain near thermal power plants into bricks, city
garbage into energy and sewage into fertilizer.
6) Public Liability Insurance: This makes it mandatory for all companies to take out
a public liability insurance to be paid in 48 hours.
7) Pollution By Motor Vehicles : Anti-pollution measures against motor vehicles are
being strictly enforced. Vehicles not adhering to the standards prescribed are fined
heavily and may even be asked to be off the road.
8) Hotel Near Sea Shore: Action has been taken against a large number of hotels
which encroach beaches in flagrant violation of laws.
9) National River Action Plan: The proposal is to set up a National river authority
which will plan policy for water use and waste management at the national level.
10) Solar Energy Commission: Since the energy sector is the major polluter, the idea
is to create decentralized energy at the village level, instead of multiplying the
mainstream producer.
11) No Smoking In Public Places: A ban is proposed on smoking in public places. The
Delhi government has taken a lead in this direction.
Intext Questions 23.2
1. Identify two most important international conferences on Environment.
i) ________________________________________________________________
ii) ________________________________________________________________
MODULE - 5
Notes
255
Envrionmental Awareness
Major Contemporary
Issues
2. Give the name of the world commission which popularized the concept of sustainable
development
i) ________________________________________________________________
3. Identify any three objective of India's National Environment Policy.
i) ________________________________________________________________
ii) ________________________________________________________________
iii) ________________________________________________________________
4. Identify any three measures taken by the Government of India to check Environmental
Pollution.
i) ________________________________________________________________
ii) ________________________________________________________________
iii) ________________________________________________________________
What You Have Learnt
Environment is the surrounding we live in.
Unplanned human activities cause environmental degradation.
Sustainable development is a concept, which says that development should be
environment oriented, i.e., it should be such that it does not harm natural order.
Different types of pollution such as carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, pesticides,
sewage, smoke, noise cause environmental degradation.
Awareness is now growing to conserve the nature. To conserve or to perish has
become the slogan of the hour.
The United Nations, through its agencies is making all efforts to conserve the
environment, so that future generations do not face consequences of what the present
generation is doing.
The India Government has also introduced laws and has taken measures which go on
to promote environmental awareness and also helps in preserving the nature.
Terminal Exercises
1. Describe the meaning of environment and environmental degradation.
2. Discuss any two environmental problems.
3. What is sustainable development? Explain.
MODULE - 5
Notes
256
Political Science
Major Contemporary
Issues
4. Outline the various efforts made by the Indian Government towards creating a better
natural Environment.
Answers to Intext Questions
23.1
I. False
II. True
III. False
IV. False


How do we know if someone is a drug addict?

Following are the symptoms of a drug addict:
Loss of interest in daily routine;
Loss of appetite/weight;
Reddening and puffiness of eyes, unclear vision;
Slurring of speech;
Fresh/numerous injection sites on body and blood stains on
clothes;
Presence of needles, syringes and strange packets at home;
Nausea, vomiting and body pain;
Drowsiness or sleeplessness, lethargy and passivity;
Acute anxiety, depression, profuse sweating;
Changing mood, temper, tantrums;
Depersonalization and emotional detachment; and
Impaired memory and concentration.

Let us ponder over adolescence issues
MODULE - 5
Notes
257
Good Governance
Major Contemporary
Issues
24
GOOD GOVERNANCE
very one of us expects and aspires that our government should be good and effective.
In fact, we also know that it was for the purpose of securing conditions for safe and happy
life that the state came into existence and its continuity is justified in terms of promoting
and preserving the quality of life. Kautilya considered it as the bounden duty of the
government to act in a manner that realizes the material, mental, moral and cultural well
being of the people. It is in this context that the study of good governance has become
very important in the study of political science. The lesson explains the meaning of good
governance, governance and measures to overcome these hindrances as well as the role
of citizens to ensure good governance.
Objectives
After studying this lesson, you will be able to
explain the concept of good governance ;
describe the major components or characteristics of good governance like
Accountability, Openness, etc. ;
discuss major hindrances to good governance like corruption, population growth and
culture of violence ;
appreciate the role of citizens in the process of good governance ;
describe the ways to promote good governance like use of computers, the right to
information and citizens’ charter.
24.1 Meaning of Good Governance
In order to understand the concept of good governance we shall first have to know the
meaning of governance. What is governance? It has been defined as the use of power and
authority by those in government to provide goods and services to the people to uphold the
common good and fulfill the aspirations and needs of the common man. Governance,
therefore, is concerned with power, strategies, policies, plans and projects that aim at
improving the substance or quality of life. The people expect their government to proceed
E
MODULE - 5
Notes
258
Political Science
Major Contemporary
Issues
with its tasks in a way that maximum results follow with minimum cost or investment.
Governance becomes good when the decisions and actions of the government are based
on peoples’ consent, legitimacy and accountability. Thus good governance is concerned
with high quality in governance. All sections of the society today judge their government
by their governance. Earlier, coercive state was considered to be most effective instrument
of good governance. In ancient and medieval India a king, though authoritarian, was
supposed to be conscientious and responsive to the needs of the subjects.
In modern times, good governance implies enlightened citizenship as well as accountable
and constitutional government. Good governance is also a key developmental concept
today. The debate only relates to the question of how to bring about development. It is a
concept that is inclusive and positive in nature. It is inclusive in so far as it aims at involvement
of people in the process of development. Thus development is not merely people-oriented
but people- centered. It is positive to the extent of building up new levels of skills, knowledge
and support for development. Let us now discuss some of the features or characteristics
of good governance.
24.2 Features of Good Governance
The next important question in the discussion on good governance is: what are the basic
features or elements of good governance? A number of, reports and studies have sought
to identify a number of features. In the scheme of Kautilya, for instance, the following
features formed part of good governance:
Law and order
People caring administration
Justice and rationality as the basis of decision
Corruption free governance
The World Bank in its reports of 1989 and 1992, the Organization for Economic Cooperation
and Development (OECD) Commission on Global Governance (1995), United Nations
Development Programme (UNDP) 1997 have all dealt with the attributes of good
governance extensively.
These concerns of good governance have been very clearly voiced in Asian Development
Basic report in the shape of the following questions :
Do people fully participate in governance?
Are people fully informed?
Do people make decisions or can they at least hold the decision makers accountable?
Are the women equal partners with men in Governance?
Are the needs of the poor and disadvantaged met?
Are peoples’ human rights guaranteed?
Are the needs of the future generation taken into account in current
policies?
Do people own their structures of governance?
MODULE - 5
Notes
259
Good Governance
Major Contemporary
Issues
24.2.1 Accountability
It has been emphasized almost unanimously that governance has to be based on the principle
of accountability of those who are responsible for it. Accountability, in fact, implies that the
bureaucracy should be answerable for what they do or don’t do? This is sought to be
administered in a parliamentary system through questions, debates, discussions, budgetary
approvals, committees and such other methods by parliament. The executive is to be
responsive to the people through their representatives. It is, however, also true that this
mechanism has increasingly proved to be ineffective for reasons of decline in the quality
and character of debates and the representatives, transformation of parliamentary system
into a cabinet system of government, criminalization of politics and fragmentation of society
and politics. Secondly, accountability is also ensured through judicial review of the
governmental decisions or laws. The citizens are also seeking judicial intervention through
Public Interest Litigation (PIL) for prompt action on certain issues affecting the common
life. Such practices are in vogue, directly or indirectly in several countries like New Zeeland,
Canada, Australia and India. Recently, a more effective mode of public accountability is
the system of citizens’ charter. The idea is to change the bureaucratic culture to include
people friendly attitudes instead of patriarchal, indifferent, casual and callous behavior to
citizens. The old feudal value must give place to modern democratic values in bureaucracy.
An accountable system of governance, thus, presupposes the following functional and
behavioral traits of the civil servants:
Achievement oriented behaviour,
Judicious use of authority,
Pursuit of happiness of the people,
Use of reason and experience as the basis of decision,
Shirking of work to be identified and punished,
Time bound implementation of Policies and Plans,
Strength of character, intelligence, perseverance and extensity of civil servants,
Uprightness, friendliness and firmness of devotion in dealing with others,
Capacity for doing a work which should be supplemented by the skill-in-action and
question for perfection.
In every country a number of institutional and legal arrangements have been made to
secure the prevalence of the characteristics of an accountable administration. For example,
in India setting up of institutions like Central Vigilance Commission and national commissions
for Women, Schedules Tribes, Schedules Castes, Minorities and Backward Classes, National
Labour Commission, National Commissions for Human Rights and Minorities, and
Comptroller and Auditor General of India are some such efforts or steps to administer
social, legal constitutional and systemic commitments in bureaucracy. It seeks to remove
the tendencies of administrative bias, corruption, alienation and secrecy. The aim is to
make administration poor-sensitive, gender-sensitive, and more sensitive to the demands
and grievances of the public. The purpose is to prevent undesirable acts or behavior and to
promote efficiency and integrity of public servants. The Governments have also initiated a
number of other measures to see the actual operations of accountability in administration.
MODULE - 5
Notes
260
Political Science
Major Contemporary
Issues
A reference can be made to the following :
Management by Objective (MBO)
Machinery for the redress of public grievances
Reognition of the Right to Information
E Governance and Information Technology use
Democratization and Decentralisation of power
Empowerment of the marginalized groups, especially women
Fair Competition between public and private sectors
Review of a number of laws, rules and regulations
In order to establish accountability at the level of local Government and empowerment of
the marginalized groups, Indian Parliament passed 73
rd
and 74
th
Amendment Acts in 1992
providing for among other things 33.3% reservation for women and for scheduled castes/
tribes in proportion to their population, decentralized development planning, enhancing
financial abilities through increased financial powers and support to the local bodies.
Decentralization and democratization thus are made benchmarks of development
administration. Moreover, 79 ministries and departments of the central government are
operating the structure of citizens’ charter. This charter is an account of :
Time limits and standards for services
Avenues of grievance redressal and
Putting in place monitoring system and independent scrutiny of imple mentation of the
charter.
A number of States and Union Government have created special agencies and units to
deal with the grievances of the public emanating mainly from non-reachability of the officials,
absence of a time frame for disposal of the cases and unsympathetic attitude of public
officials. Accountability is related to the system of openness and transparency. If the
decisions are not taken in a transparent and open manner, one can question the impartiality
of such a decision. There shall be much less place for favouritism, nepotism and prejudice
in the treatment of the citizens. Indian Parliament has enacted the Right to Information
Act to facilitate openness in government. Central ministries and departments have set up
facilitation counters with wide publicity for the purpose of information and making
complaints.
Intext Questions 24.1
Fill in blanks :
1. Governance is concerned with formulation of ___________ to improve ___________
of life of the people.
(strategy/ Revenue Collection Scheme; Quality/ Family Relations)
2. Kautilya’s scheme of good governance is based on ___________ administration.
(People caring/ Authoritarian and arbitrary).
MODULE - 5
Notes
261
Good Governance
Major Contemporary
Issues
3. The concept of good governance became popular in administrative discussion with
the publication of ___________ (World Bank Report 1989 & 1992/ Mechiavali’s
the Prince).
4. Governance is good if it based on ___________ (People’s consent/Guardian Like
behaviour of the civil servants).
24.3 Hindrances to Good Governance
Countries at the international and national levels have shown much seriousness about
good governance. But how is it that they have not been finding it so easy to provide to all
their citizens a just, equal and free social order. What are the factors that are blocking the
road to good governance? There are a number of factors responsible for the failure to
achieve the desired ends, but the following are the major threats to good governance :
(A) Corruption
(B) Population Growth
(C) Culture of Violence
24.3.1 Corruption
Corruption is an illegal use of authority for personal gains. Corruption is a universal disease
causing harm to the people and government almost everywhere in the world. However, in
the countries like India it has assumed the shape of a cancer. Since the days of Kautilya
the issue of ethics and integrity in government has been a major concern. At times the
political leaders have expressed their helplessness to contain corruption by arguing that
corruption is a worldwide phenomenon. But the question of probity and corruption is getting
a little more attention than earlier. The exposure of the scams and the demand for action
against the corruption is now increasing. But no step to fight corruption will be effective
unless all forms of corruption – political, economic, moral and administrative are fought
with a sense of commitment and will. In order to meet the threat of corruption to good
governance, the following steps are necessary:
1. Breaking the nexus between politicians, bureaucrats and criminals.
2. Ensuring a cost-effective administration of justice.
3. Setting up of Public interest litigation courts at the national, state and local levels.
4. Making right to information more effective.
5. Strengthening law enforcement agencies in terms of autonomy, skills, attitudinal change
and awareness of the social problems.
6. Forfeiture of the properties of the corrupt immediately after the charges are framed.
Such a property can be released only after the person is proved innocent.
7. Improving bureaucratic functioning by way of simplification of rules, regulations and
procedures of work.
8. Mobilizing the society to support the system of rule of law.
9. Putting an end to the system of patronage and nepotism from government organizations.
MODULE - 5
Notes
262
Political Science
Major Contemporary
Issues
24.3.2 Population Growth
Good governance is concerned not merely with effective laws, procedures and practices,
but also concerned with mobilization and utilization of country’s social and economic
resources in a manner that benefits all the members of the society. However, one finds
that development efforts have failed to eliminate poverty, unemployment and illiteracy and
to secure to all ‘citizens equitable access to even primary education and health, food,
water and a house. From a population of about 35 crores at the time of India’s Independence
to more than 100 crores now is a cause for concern. Though some states in India such as
Kerala, TamilNadu, Goa and Manipur have already achieved population stabilisation, there
are still some states like Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Bihar which will
take a long time to stabilize their population. The phenomenal growth in numbers requires
resources to sustain them. There is an increasing demand on land, air and water resources.
Providing adequate educational and health facilities, food, shelter and employment to the
growing numbers is a difficult task before any government in India. Look at our large
cities where concentration of a very large population poses many problems of health and
sanitation, water supply, roads, and electricity. In fact, in many respects cities like Mumbai,
Calcutta and Delhi are increasingly becoming ungovernable. The rapidly increasing
population is, in fact, a means to a breakdown of good governance. Population can be
stablized through spread of education, awareness, health education, people’s involvement
and development etc.
24.3.3 Culture of Violence
Resort to illegal force is considered to be a law and order problem. But when one looks at
it from the point of view of the principles of good governance, it becomes clear that peace
and order is the first step to development. Strikes, riots, terror attacks onerant of this
harmful culture of violence. The government can focus on economic, social and political
development if it is free from the concerns of threat to public safety and security in terms
of life and property. Moreover, terrorism is also the greatest threat to the rule of law
because terror replaces the law or seeks to subvert the law. Terrorism is a hindrance to
progress. No industrialist would be willing to invest in an area, which is affected by violence
and terrorist activities. This produces an adverse impact on employment, health, education
and the provision of other services to the people in the long run. The social life also comes
to a halt and people become almost in house prisoners or suffer from mental agonies of
different types if they live under the shadow of violence and terrorism. The issue of
human rights also comes to the fore. Terrorists seldom respect the human rights of the
comman man. But when the government uses brutal force to contain terrorism, at times
human rights of common citizens are violated by the state police. It requires a clear vision,
courage and understanding to deal with this menace through dialogue with the violators of
law, redressal of their genuine grievances, involvement of the neighbours and wider
international governments in the fight against terrorism.
Intext Questions 24.2
Fill in the blanks :
1. Corruption is an ___________ use of authority for personal benefits (legal/ illegal).
2. Corruption is concerned with ___________ in public life (secrecy/ probity)
MODULE - 5
Notes
263
Good Governance
Major Contemporary
Issues
3. Corruption can be reduced by ___________ (simplification/ reviving of Rules and
Regulations)
4. Population has been stabilized in ___________ (Uttar Pradesh/ Kerala)
5. Violence is the greatest threat to ___________ (Rule of Law/ Police).
24.4 Measures to Establish Good Governance
One can draw a long list of the measures to realize the goals of good governance. Let us
discuss two measures viz. ensure people’s participation and the use of computers and
information technology, for an efficient, effective, honest, transparent and law abiding
system of governance.
24.4.1 Peoples Participation for Good Governance
People’s participation is given increasing priority in the scheme of governance. It is
recognized that people’s involvement in decision-making and decision implementation would
act as :
a check on indifferent and inefficient bureaucracy. In other words people could act
as pressure on administration to act and act in time.
Instruments for a responsive and accountable administration.
a medium of development administration and self-government.
a mobiliser and user of local resources for local development.
The people can perform this role either by becoming a member of any social organization
or interest and pressure groups or welfare organization or a political party or by becoming
a part of bureaucracy and government at national, regional or local levels. The governments
are seeking to involve people by the democratic decentralization-the panchayats and
municipalities or by association in advisory or consultative committees and institutions.
People also organize themselves to demand a policy to meet the expectations of the citizens.
They organize as groups to support a people friendly decision of the government as they
also oppose anti people measures taken by it. One can mention the name of organizations
like: Narmada Bachao Andolan, Bachpan Bachao Andolan, Peoples’ Initiative, Help Age
India, Common Cause Shiksha Bachao Andolan etc. in this context. People, thus, can play
a significant role as opinion makers both in favour and against the government and
administration. At times, individuals tend to work for the resolution of conflicts within the
society or between the society and the state. Individuals can also act as a link between the
people and the bureaucracy by supplying the information about the action / reaction of the
people and their roles. By such feedback the civil servants can remedy the situation. Since
the levels of education, information, knowledge of the government, political and the economic
status condition people’s participation, a large number of local people remain outside the
system of governance. Therefore, our country has made deliberate attempt to include the
poorer sections in the process of decision-making and development. Reservation of 33.3%
seats for women in the panchayati raj and the urban local government is one such step.
There is a provision for reservation of seats for SCs/STs in the proportion to their population
in the areas of local government. For instance, if there are 20% Scheduled Castes in a
district then 20% seats shall be reserved for them in the Zila parishad. Similarly, if the
MODULE - 5
Notes
264
Political Science
Major Contemporary
Issues
number of Scheduled tribes in 1% in a village than 1% seats shall be reserved for the
Scheduled Tribes in the Gram Panchayat. Reservation for the backward classes has been
left to the state government. It may not be wrong, however, to state that there is still a gap
between what is provided and what is implemented in the area of the people’s participation
in governance, especially in the local governments. It is only a handful of people who
appear to be empowered.
24.5 Role of Computer and Information Technology (IT) as
means of good governance
From the discussion held so far you must have noted that the essence of good governance
is being people-friendly and power-sharing system on the one hand and being responsive,
accessible, moral, transparent and corruption free system on the other. The use of computers
and information technology is visualized as a very effective tool of good governance. It
seeks to improve.
Delivery of services to the people at low cost.
Empowerment of people through dissemination of information.
Openness and transparency in the working of government.
Innovations and introduction of new ideas and concepts in the performance by the
government and the people.
Effective linkages between citizens and the administration
Comprehensive monitoring and assessment of the performance of the government.
Computers, thus, can increase people’s reach to the information relating to rules, regulations
or procedures or about the welfare and development scheme of the government or about
the welfare and development scheme of the government or information about weather
and climate that can be used by farmers and citizens. It is said corruption is the product of
face-to-face meeting between the giver and receiver of a decision. Computers can reduce
their personal contacts to curb corruption. For example, a farmer can get his land record
copy on the computer, a citizen can pay any bill or tax without actually going to the cash
counter and suffering the agony of long queue or losing the earnings of the day. The
Gyandoot programme being implemented in Dhar district of Madhya Pradesh in India
provides the number of services like online registration, copies of land record, agriculture
produce auction center to the people at a nominal price. The list may further include
facilities like eligibility rules and application for loans; prices of seeds, fertilizers and tools,
the power cut schedule, availability of diesel etc. Such a system would cut the administrative
delays, which is another source of corruption. It would reduce time and financial cost of
the facility as the citizens would get them through computer at their doorsteps. The
government of Karnataka is using computers for transparency in educational admission
and recruitment, transfers and payment of salaries of teachers. Computers are also used
to know the implementation of the instructions or orders of the chief minister. It is also
being used for the management of the constituency and prepare summarized data on
major projects in health, housing and other social welfare schemes.
In Kerala a computerized project known as FRIENDS (Fast, Reliable, Instant, Efficient
Network for disbursement of services) is working to provide a range of public services
MODULE - 5
Notes
265
Good Governance
Major Contemporary
Issues
through computers to the people. The central government in India has also introduced
computerized system of administration in various departments and ministries like Railways,
Human Resource Development, Rural Development, Planning Commission and UGC.
Intext Questions 24.3
Fill in the blanks :
1. Good governance can be secured through ___________ (people’s involvement/
Civil Service alone).
2. Use of the computer makes the delivery of the services___________ (costly /
cheap).
3. Madhya Pradesh in India provides a number of services to the people through
___________ (Gyandoot Programme/ Gyan Darshan)
What You Have Learnt
You have studied in the lesson the meaning and the concepts of good governance, the
features or attributes of good governance, the extent or level of their existence at the
national and other lower levels. You have also reflected on the problems in implementing
the ideals or goals of good governance, mainly posed by the population explosion, violence,
terrorism and corruption. The ways adopted by different governments to overcome their
hindrances has also been a part of your study. The special focus again is on the people’s
participation, prevention of corruption and computer use as means of promoting good
governance.
Terminal Exercises
1. Discuss the meaning and the concept of good governance.
2. Identify three features of good governance. Explain the importance of accountability
in good governance.
3. Discuss the main hindrances to good governance.
4. Describe measures for good governance, the government of India has taken.
Answers to Intext Questions
24.1
1. (A) strategy (B) Quality
2. People caring
3. World Bank Report 1989 & 1992
4. People’s consent
MODULE - 5
Notes
266
Political Science
Major Contemporary
Issues
24.2
1. Illegal
2. Probity
3. Simplification
4. Review
5. Rule of Law
24.3
1. People’s involvement
2. Cheap
3. Gyandoot Programme
Hints for Terminal Exercises
1. Refer to Section 24.1
2. Refer to Section 24.2
3. Refer to Section 24.3
4. Refer to Section 24.4


What are HIV and AIDS?


HIV IS:
HUMAN
Immunodeficiency
Virus
AIDS IS:
ACQUIRED
IMMUNODEFICIENCY
SYNDROME


HIV weakens the body’s defence or immune system. AIDS is the late stage
of HIV infection, when the immune system of the infected person has been
completely destroyed, and when the person contracts a variety of diseases
and infections. AIDS is thus not one particular isolated disease but a
syndrome, which means that it shows a variety of symptoms related to
different disorders and diseases. AIDS may develop as early as 6 months
after HIV infection in a severe case, or as late as 8–10 years after infection.
Let us ponder over adolescence issues
HIV IS: AIDS IS:
Human Acquired
Immunodeficiency Immunodeficiency
Virus Syndrome
MODULE - 5
Notes
267
Human Rights
Major Contemporary
Issues
25
HUMAN RIGHTS
he basic fact to remember about human rights is that they are not the gift or bounty of
any political sovereign through legislation or any edict, but are rights inherent in human
existence. The purpose of any law dealing with these rights is merely to recognize them, to
regulate their exercise and to provide for their enforcement, and the related matters.
Inviolability of some basic rights in a civilized society is based on this premise. Human
rights are considered to be universal, indivisible and interdependent.
‘Human rights’ in practice have been defined to include all aspects of dignified human
existence which make every human being an equal member of the human family. Human
dignity is the essence of human rights. It is the wide understanding of this aspect and
appreciation of the range of dignity of the individual which defines the true scope of
human rights.
Objectives
After studing this lesson, you will be able to
Explain the basic concept of human rights ;
Classify the main categories of human rights ;
Recall the major landmarks in the development of human rights ;
Trace the evolution of human rights in India ;
Recognize the role of non-governmental organizations in the promotion and protecton
of human rights.
25.1 Basic Concept of Human Rights
There have been a number of ways of classifying human rights. Some of the categories
are given below :
25.1.1 Classical
These have been defined to include civil and political rights and generally restrict the
powers of the state in respect of actions affecting the individual.
T
MODULE - 5
Notes
268
Political Science
Major Contemporary
Issues
25.1.2 Fundamental and Basic Rights
With the recent increase in the number of human rights, a concern has arisen that some
rights will become watered down. Consequently, the term fundamental rights tends to be
used to indicate more importance of certain rights. Some rights are so important that they
must always be given precedence in national and international policy. They include all the
rights pertaining to individual dignity as well as to their material needs.
25.1.3 Collective and Individual Rights
In general, most human rights relate to the individual. It will, however, become apparent
that some of them can only be exercised by groups. This is especially so when the ability
to exercise rights is linked to membership of a particular group.
25.1.4 First, Second and Third Generation Rights
Clearly, this classification follows the historical development of rights. First are the civil
and political rights and second are the social, economic and cultural ones. In recent years,
academics have started to talk about the existence of a third generation of rights which
are solidarity rights, for example the right to peace, the right to development, the right to
food and to a clean environment. Human rights are necessarily dynamic.
25.2 Six Features of Human Rights
From the above discussion we can conclude that there are certain common features of all
the categories of human rights. We can identify at least six features which are basic to the
concept of human rights.
25.2.1 People have rights simply because they are human
All people have the right to lead a dignified and human life, and work towards achieving
this for all people. These rights cannot be denied on the basis of caste, colour, religion and
gender.
25.2.2 Human rights are universal
They take no account of nation, race, sex or colour. People of all nations, colour, race,
religion have same rights everywhere. The developed and developing countries in all
continents of the world must guarantee same rights to all their citizens.
25.2.3 Human rights treat all people as equal
This follows the idea that “all human beings are born free and equal in rights and dignity”
and therefore deserve the same opportunities and treatment, whilst simultaneously respecting
their different cultures and traditions, political persuasion, sexuality, social origin, status
etc. Governments must therefore work to create the same opportunities for all the people
in the country and this may involve extra work to make those opportunities the same for
certain sections in society e.g. women, children, and the disabled.
25.2.4 These rights belong primarily to individuals
This means that they are concerned with the relationship between an individual and the
state. Consequently, it is for the government to create a society where each individual can
MODULE - 5
Notes
269
Human Rights
Major Contemporary
Issues
enjoy and freely exercise his or her rights to the full.
25.2.5 Human rights encompass the fundamental principles of
humanity
These rights are considered to be basic for the development of human personality and for
the sake of human dignity. Examples of such rights are the right to life, freedom from
slavery and freedom from torture.
25.2.6 The promotion and protection of human rights is not limited
to national boundaries but rather stipulates certain ideals that
apply the world over
Human rights hold nations accountable for meeting the conditions which satisfy the
promotion, protection and respect for these rights.
Intext Questions 25.1
1. Tick ( ) the correct answer:
(a) Human Rights are inherent in human existence. (True/False)
(b) Classical Rights include civil and political rights. (True/False)
(c) The promotion and protection of human rights is limited to national boundaries.
(True/False)
2. Fill in the blanks :
(a) Human rights are ____________. (universal, local).
(b) Human rights are necessarily __________. (static, dynamic, closed)
(c) Human Rights encompass the ______________ principles of humanity. (oldest,
medieval, fundamental)
25.3 Major Landmarks in the Development of Human Rights
Incorporation of a Bill of Rights in some early national charters and constitutions in Europe
indicates that the concept is not of recent origin.
Early European charters supporting the idea of certain fundamental freedoms were the
Magna Carta of 1215, the Union of Utrecht in 1579 (Netherlands), and the British Bill
of Rights in 1689.
These charters specified certain freedoms that one could claim if one held a particular
status and were not all-encompassing, but rather conferred upon an individual. Over the
next few centuries, the idea of liberty gradually separated from status and was viewed as
a right pertaining to all human beings.
This was also the time when the British colonies in North America strove for independence
and drew up their own Declaration of Independence in 1776, based on the idea of
MODULE - 5
Notes
270
Political Science
Major Contemporary
Issues
universal equality, and the existence of certain inalienable rights. These documents were
eventually incorporated into the American Bill of Rights which is a part of the U.S.
Constitution. The international growth of the concept can be demonstrated by the French
Declaration of the Rights of Man in 1789.
The rights of the 18th and 19th centuries can be termed as ‘classic’ rights, relating to the
freedom of the individual and were incorporated in many national constitutions. Today,
governments provide new category of ritghts in the fields of employment, education, health
and welfare. These are termed as social rights.
The social rights were first embodied in international regulations for example, the
International Labour Organisation (ILO) was founded in 1919 and was the originator
of various labour regulations.
Important Dates for Human Rights
1215 Magna Carta
1776 American Declaration of Indepence and Bill of Rights
1787 Constitution of the United States
1789 French Declaration of the Rights of man
1946 UN Commission on Human Rights
1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights
1949 Geneva Conventions
1950 European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental
Freedoms
1961 European Social Charter
1966 International Convenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESC);
the International Convenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR); and the
(First) Optional Protocol to the Convenant on Civil Inhuman or Degrading
Treatment or Punishment (UNCAT)
1993 Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action adopted at the World
Conference on Human Rights.
The tremendous atrocities of the Second World War can be said to mark the start of the
current ‘era of human rights’, for they ended the view that it was up to the individual state
to determine how to treat its citizens.
The Preamble to the Charter of the United Nations reaffirms faith in fundamental human
rights......”. Article 1 of the UN Charter states that promoting and encouraging respect
for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex,
language, or religion is one of the purposes of the United Nations. Thus, human rights are
a legitimate concern of the international community. Signatories to the UN Charter
undertake the responsibility of promoting human rights individually and collectively.
In 1946, the UN Commission on Human Rights was established and in less than two
MODULE - 5
Notes
271
Human Rights
Major Contemporary
Issues
years it had drafted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which was adopted by
the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in 1948.
In 1966 the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International
Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Together with the First and Second
Optional Protocols to the International covenant on Civil and Political Rights, these
five documents comprise the International Bill of Human Rights.
Thus internationally recognized human rights have become a new international ‘standard
of civilization’. After the Second World War there has developed a body of international
human rights code reaffirming the morally appealing idea of adherence to shared standards
of justice to qualify for membership of the international community. It has become a factor
of political legitimacy. These standards of civilized behaviour link national and international
legitimacy.
The visible rise of universal human rights culture depicts moral progress and is an effective
response to major threats to human dignity posed by modern political and economic trends.
Viewing development with the ‘rights’ perspective for sustainable development appears
to be gaining ground. That we are all equally human seems to be more acceptable now,
with the current slogans: ‘All human rights for all’ and ‘The world is one family’. To us
Indians, it is nothing new. We have for long believed: ‘Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah’, and
‘Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam’.
Intext Questions 25.2
1. Tick ( ) the correct answer:
(a) The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted in 1949.
(True/False)
(b) Atrocities of Second World War mark the start of current era of human
rights. (True/False)
(c) Human Rights like Fundamental Rights are enforceable. (True/False)
2. Fill in the blanks :
(a) Human Rights have now become _____________ (local, national universal)
(b) The world leaders gathered in ____________ for the World Conference on Human
Rights (Vienna, Geneva,New York)
(c) The rights of the 18th and 19th centuries can be termed as_______ rights (individual,
social, classic)
25.4 Human Rights in the Indian Constitution
The Constitution of India duly recognizes the importance of human rights and guarantees
ceratin Fundamental Rights in Part-III which include the right of equality, right to freedom,
right against exploitation, right to freedom of religion, cultural and educational rights and
the right to constitutional remedies. Article 32 gives the right to constitutional remedy in
the form of original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of India for the enforcement of these
MODULE - 5
Notes
272
Political Science
Major Contemporary
Issues
Fundamental Rights. This is the protection of individuals against invasion of their human
rights.
Part-IV of the Indian Constitution contains Directive Principles of State Policy which are
the principles fundamental in governance, to be observed by the State in the formulation of
its policies. These include the duty of the State to secure a social order for the promotion
of the welfare of the people, social justice, right to work, to education and social security,
provision for just and humane conditions of work, promotion of interests of the weaker
sections, duty to raise the level of nutrition and the standards of living and to improve
public health, protection and improvement of environment, ecology and wild life etc.
In addition, the Fundamental Duties of every citizen covering a wide range to strengthen
the guarantee of Fundamental Rights are in Article 51A (Part IVA of the Constitution). In
addition to Article 32 empowering the Supreme Court to enforce the Fundamental Rights,
the High Court is empowered by Article 226 for the same purpose to exercise its powers.
The primary duty of the higher judiciary to protect and enforce human rights is the
constitutional mandate. Rule of law is a basic feature of our Constitution, as is judicial
review.
The role of the Supreme Court of India is commendable in expanding the human rights and
it has found Article 21 of the Constitution as the most fruitful article. In several cases the
Indian Supreme Court has said that compensation is to be given for violation of rights
under the article, such as, right to human dignity, right to healthy environment, right to
social security, right to protection of childhood etc.
The impact of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights on the drafting ( Parts III
and IV ) of the Indian Constitution is felt throughout. India has acceded to the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights as well as to both the Covenants with certain reservations.
25.5 National Human Rights Commission
The Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993 was enacted in India to provide for the
constitution of a National Human Rights Commission, State Human Rights Commissions
in States for better protection of human rights and for matters connected therewith or
incidental thereto. ‘Human rights’ are defined in Section 2(1)(d) of the Act to mean the
rights relating to life, liberty, equality and dignity of the individual guaranteed by the
Constitution or embodied in the International Covenants and enforceable by courts in
India. The functions of the Commission are enumerated in Section 12 which include a
wide area to enable the Commission not only to enquire into the violations or negligence in
prevention of violation of human rights but also to promote the human rights culture and
perform any function necessary for the promotion of human rights.
Ever since its constitution in 1993, the National Human Rights Commission has been
discharging a role complementary to that of the Supreme Court of India by performing
those tasks which by their very nature the NHRC can perform better e.g. monitoring any
situation or functioning of an institution. The dependence between these institutions has
considerably improved the mechanism for the protection of human rights in the country,
which is primarily a state responsibility.
The interpretation of the fundamental rights, particularly, Article 14 (right to equality) and
Article 21 (right to life) by the Supreme Court has considerably enlarged the meaning and
scope of human rights in India.
MODULE - 5
Notes
273
Human Rights
Major Contemporary
Issues
The National Human Rights Commission has also interpreted its functions enumerated in
Section 12 of the Act especially to include therein monitoring of the functioning of the
institutions of governance with a view to ensure better protection of human rights and to
prevent their violation. The NHRC visualizes its role as that of a catalyst to improve the
quality of governance with the firm belief that good governance in accordance with the
Constitution and the rule of law alone can be effective for better protection of human
rights. The linkage between the two is direct and clear.
The nature and extent of State’s responsibility for the protection of human rights was
indicated by the NHRC in its orders made in the case of recent Gujarat communal
disturbances. The Commission observed :
“It is the primary and inescapable responsibility of the State to protect the right to life,
liberty, equality and dignity of all of those who constitute it. It is also the responsibility of
the State to ensure that such rights are not violated either through overt acts, or through
abetment or negligence. It is a clear and emerging principle of human rights jurisprudence
that the State is responsible not only for the acts of its own agents, but also for the acts of
non-State players acting within its jurisdiction. The State is, in addition, responsible for any
inaction that may cause or facilitate the violation of human rights”.
The National Commission on Human Rights has investigated several cases of gross violation
of human rights by official agencies and also terrorist groups. The commission while inquiring
into the complaint of the violation of human rights may call for information or report from
the Central Government or any State Government or any other authority or organisation
subordinate there to, within such time as may be specified by it. When after the inquiry the
Commission comes to the conclusion that violation of human rights has occurred, it may
take the following steps :
1. where the inquiry discloses that violation of human rights or negligence in the prevention
of human rights by a public servant, it may recommend to initiate proceedings for
prosecution by the concerned government or authority.
2. approach the Supreme Court or the High Court concerned for directions.
3. recommend to the concerned government or authority for the grant of immediate
interim relief to the victim or the members of his family.
Whenever a complaint of violation of human rights is made against a member of the
Armed Forces the commission is required to follow a different procedure, It may seek a
report from the Central government and may make its recommendations.The Commission
took notice of reports dated 22 March 2000, which appeared in all leading newspapers,
concerning the killing of 35 members of the Sikh community in a village of Anantnag
District during the night of 21 March 2000 by armed militants. It was stated that all those
killed were men, aged between 16 and 55. Later, a woman died of shock on seeing the
bodies of those killed. At least two families lost all of their male members. The incident
occurred a few hours before the President of the United States of America was to begin
an official tour to India. The Commission issued notice to the Chief Secretary and Director
General of Police, Government of J&K as well as to the Secretary, Ministry of Home
Affairs, Government of India calling for detailed reports.
On 15 April 1996 six naxalites were killed by the police at Murumdag village, Daltonganj,
Bihar. The Peoples Union for Civil Liberties at Palamau which had earlier enquired into
MODULE - 5
Notes
274
Political Science
Major Contemporary
Issues
the matter stated that an armed group came to the village to settle a dispute. On receipt of
information: the police came and encircled the members of the armed group who
surrendered to the police. Thereafter, the members of the group were made to stand at
different places and fired at by the police. In all six persons were killed as a result of the
firing by the police. The PUCL found that the allegation of the police that the naxalite
group had attacked the police party with bombs and firearms and that the police returned
fire in self-defence resulting in the death of six persons to be untrue. The armed group
came in plain clothes but after their post mortem they were dressed in khaki uniforms
which had neither any holes nor bullet marks on them. The dead bodies were thrown away
but when there was a protest by the people, six bodies were transported in a police van
and cremated by the police.As the police attached to the same police station were involved
in the firing resulting in the killing, the Commission recommended that the case should be
made to an independent investigation agency, namely, CID and to complete the investigation
within four months. If the investigation called for launching of prosecution, steps for speedy
trial be taken. The Commission expressed the hope that compensation would be awarded
by the State if the case ended in conviction.
The Commission took notice of a matter reported in the newspaper ‘Indian Express’ dated
27 January 1999 captioned “Bihar: old script, new victims, and upper caste Ranbir Sena
kills 21 Dalits in Jehanabad”. According to the report, the Ranbir Sena, a private army of
upper caste landlords in Bihar, armed with sophisticated weapons, had killed at least 21
people including 6 children and 5 women on 25 January 1999 in Rukhsagar Bigha village
under the Mehandia Police Station in Jehanabad district of Bihar. The victims were all
from the backward castes and included several Dalits. The Commission, while taking
cognizance of the matter on 27 January 1999 expressed shock at the news of the killing of
21 Dalits in Jehanabad and effectively investigate and bring to book the guilty persons, and
to ensure that there was no recurrence of such incidents. It further directed the State
Government to grant relief and succour to the members of the families of the deceased
and to the injured victims.
National Human Rights Commission neither does render decisions the way a Court of law
does, nor can its recommendations be enforced like judgements of the Courts. The
recommendations of the Commission receive wide publicity and have a tremendous impact
politically and socially. The role played by the Commission in the campaign against TADA
is worth mentioning. It has a temporary legislation which expired on 23 May 1995. When
TADA lapsed a substitute legislation by the government was not cleared by Parliament.
25.6 Role of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs)
The impact of human rights has brought about a profound change on the notions of State
sovereignty. Today, no nation can say that the way it treats its citizens is purely a domestic
concern. Globalisation of human rights with the modern concept of a global village has
resulted in the human rights situation anywhere in the world becoming a matter of international
concern. Voluntary organizations, which are also called non-governmental organizations,
all over the world have begun to support and promote human rights in all societies.
The actions of international non-governmental organizations like the Amnesty International
and the Human Rights Watch, and organizations like the People’s Union for Civil Liberties
with regard to massive human rights violations in the former Yugoslavia (Kosovo, Bosnia
etc.), Rwanda, East Timor, Sierra Leone, Sudan, and Gujarat in India, and the number of
MODULE - 5
Notes
275
Human Rights
Major Contemporary
Issues
other places of conflict are obvious examples of this concern. The activities of such
organizations are coordinated at the international level through the Human Rights
Commission established by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1946.
As a result of these activities of the non-governmental organizations it has now become
familiar requirement for States to submit reports to a statutory organ (Human Rights
Committee, Children’s Committee, Women’s Committee, Committee on Elimination of
Racial Discrimination etc.) about their internal implementation of human rights obligations.
Half a century back it would have appeared unthinkable that sovereign States would
periodically submit a report to an international body about their internal matters involving
treatment of their citizens by the government, and then the State’s participation in a
discussion of the report with members of an international body drawn from all over the
world. Such is the power of the idea of human rights today. Impact of non-governmental
organizations with regard to protection and promotion of human rights is no longer debatable.
The impact is clear and visible. Along with the genuine human rights agencies, official or
non-govermental, the human rights movement in India is quite strong. One great stumbling
block in preventing violation of human rights is poverty.
What You Have Learnt
‘Human rights’ in practice have been defined to encompass every aspect of dignified
human existence which makes every human being an equal member of the human
family.
Human dignity is the essence of human rights. It is the wide comprehension of this
aspect and appreciation of the range of dignity of the individual which must define
the true scope of human rights.
The core values of our constitutional philosophy indicated in the Preamble and in the
chapter on Fundamental Rights to the Constitution of India are ‘dignity of the
individual’ and ‘unity and integrity of the nation’. These represent both the social
and individual aspects of human rights.
The National Human Rights Commission protects the basic human rights of the
individuals. It examines and investigates the complaints and cases of gross violations
of human rights in india.
Terminal Exercises
1. How can we classify human rights?
2. What are the six basic features of human rights?
3. Discuss the significance of human rights in the Constitution of India.
4. Write short notes on:
(a) Universalisation of Human Rights
(b) Role of the National Human Rights Commission in India.
MODULE - 5
Notes
276
Political Science
Major Contemporary
Issues


DO PEOPLE LIVING WITH HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) HAVE SPECIAL RIGHTS?

PEOPLE LIVING WITH HIV/AIDS HAVE A RIGHT TO LIVE WITH DIGNITY.
IT IS THEIR RIGHT TO DECIDE WHETHER OR NOT TO DISCLOSE THEIR HIV
STATUS.

ALL CITIZEN ENJOY CERTAIN FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS GUARANTEED
UNDER THE CONSTITUTION THAT PROTECT THEM AGAINST ALL KINDS OF
DISCRIMINATION. PEOPLE LIVING WITH HIV/AIDS HAVE THE SAME
RIGHTS AS NON-INFECTED PEOPLE. THEY ALSO HAVE THE RIGHT TO
EDUCATION, EMPLOYMENT, HEALTH CARE, TRAVEL, MARRIAGE, PRIVACY,
, , .
Let us ponder over adolescence issues
(c) Role of Non-governmental organizations in the promotion and protection of
human rights.
Answers to Intext Questions
25.1
1. (a) True
(b) True
(c) False
2. (a) universal
(b) dynamic
(c) fundamental
25.2
1. (a) Fasle
(b) True
(c) False
2. (a) Universal
(b) Vienna
(c) Classic
Hints for Terminal Exercises
1. Refer to Section 25.1
2. Refer to Section 25.2
3. Refer to Section 25.4
4. Refer to Section (a) 25.3 (b) 25.5 (c) 25.6
MODULE - 6
Notes
277
India’s Foreign Policy
India and the World
26
INDIA’S FOREIGN POLICY
very sovereign country has its foreign policy. India too has one. Foreign policy refers to
the sum total of principles, interests and objectives which a country promotes while interacting
with other countries. Even though there are certain basic features of a foreign policy it is
not a fixed concept. The thrust of foreign policy keeps on changing according to changing
international conditions. India’s foreign policy is shaped by several factors including its
history, culture, geography and economy. Our Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, gave a
definite shape to the country’s foreign policy.
Objectives
After studying this lesson, you will be able to
identify the basic principles of India’s foreign policy ;
explain the meaning and significance of non-alignment ;
analyse the relevance of non-alignment in the post cold war period ;
explain the major concerns in India’s foreign policy in the post cold war period ;
recognise India’s contribution to UN efforts for peace and disarmament ;
explain India’s participation in UN peace keeping and its claim for a permanent seat
in the Security Council.
26.1 Basic Objectives and Principles of Foreign Policy
Preservation of national interest, achievement of world peace, disarmament, independence
for Afro-Asian nations have been important objectives of India’s foreign policy. These
objectives are sought to be achieved through some principles viz. Panchsheel; non-
alignment; anti-colonialism, anti-imperialism, anti-racism, and strengthening the UN. It
would be befitting to expand these principles.
26.1.1 Panchsheel
Nehru was a believer in world peace. He understood the linkage between peace for
E
MODULE - 6
Notes
278
Political Science
India and the World
development and survival of mankind. He had seen the destruction caused by the two
world wars and therefore realized that for the progress of a nation a long spell of peace
was needed. In its absence social and economic priorities relating to development tend to
get pushed to the background. The production of nuclear weapons strengthened Nehru’s
faith in the peaceful philosophy even more. Hence he gave utmost importance to world
peace in his policy planning. India’s desired peaceful and friendly relations with all countries,
particularly the big powers and the neighbouring nations, while signing an agreement with
China, on April 28, 1954, India advocated adherence to five guiding principles known as
Panchsheel for the conduct of bilitral relations. It includes the following:
Mutual respect for each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.
Mutual non-aggression
Mutual non-interference in each other’s internal affairs
Equality and mutual benefit
Peaceful co-existence.
The Panchsheel agreement enumerates best the principles of peaceful co-existence with
neighbours. It is an important component of India’s foreign policy.
26.1.2 Non-alignment
Non-alignment has been regarded as the most important feature of India’s foreign policy.
Non alignment aimed to maintain national independence in foreign affairs by not joining
any military alliance formed by the USA and Soviet Union in the aftermath of the Second
World War. Non-alignment was neither neutrality nor non-involvement nor isolationism. It
was a dynamic concept which meant not committing to any military bloc but taking an
independent stand on international issues according to the merits of each case. The policy
of non-alignment won many supporters in the developing countries as it provided an
opportunity to them for protecting their sovereignty as also retaining their freedom of
action during the tension ridden cold war period.
India played an important role in forging the non-aligned movement (NAM). The concept
of NAM emerged through a gradual process. Nehru took the initiative to convene the
Asian Relations Conference in New Delhi in 1947. Later on a Conference, of 29 countries
of Asia and Africa was held in Bandung (Indonesia) in 1955. This was the first gathering
of its kind which pledged to work together for colonial liberation, peace, cultural, economic
and political cooperation. Bandung to Belgrade in 1961 where the first NAM conference
was held was a logical process to project an alternative to cold war bloc politics and
assertion of newly independent countries of their independent and sovereign rights.
Cold War was intense rivalry between USA and Soviet Union without fightling a direct
war to attract allies in Africa, Asia and Latin America. It started soon after the Second
World War and continued for forty five years. These two big countries became two opposite
poles known as East and West. The world politics revolved around these two poles. Thus
the world became bipolar.
Among the non-aligned, Nehru had evolved special relationship with President Tito of
Yugoslavia and Nasser of Egypt. These three are regarded as the founding fathers of the
Non-Aligned Movement. The non-aligned movement was a group of the newly independent
states who refused to accept the dictates of the former colonial masters and decided to
MODULE - 6
Notes
279
India’s Foreign Policy
India and the World act according to their own judgement on issues of international concern. Non-aligned
movement is anti-imperialist in approach. India as the prime architect of non-alignment
and as one of the leading members of the non-aligned movement has taken an active part
in its growth.
The Non-Aligned Movement is providing all member states, regardless of size and
importance, an opportunity to participate in global decision making and world politics. India
hosted the Seventh NAM Summit at New Delhi in 1983. India hoped NAM take up the
cause of development, disarmament and the Palestine question.
Since NAM was a product of the cold war scenario and the bipolar world, many scholars
have questioned the relevance of NAM after the end of cold war and demise of the Soviet
Union. However, even in the present scenario NAM has a significant role to play, First,
with the disintegration of Soviet Union, the world faces threat from unipolar world. The
NAM can act as a check against US dominance. Secondly the developed (North) and
developing (South) world are divided over several economic issues. The NAM remains a
very relevant forum for third world countries to engage the developed nations in a productive
dialogue.Moreover, the NAM can prove to be powerful instrument for South-South
cooperation. Such a thing is essential if the third world countries are to increase their
bargaining power vis-a-vis the developed world. India continues to take active part in the
non-aligned movement even after the end of cold war. Finally, the developing countries
united under the forum of NAM have to fight for the reform of UN and change it according
to the requirements of 21
st
century.
26.1.3 Anti Imperialism, Anti Racism, Anti Colonialism
India has always opposed colonialism and racism. Whenever any injustice happened, India
raised her voice, for instance in favour of Indonesia’s nationality fighting the Dutch
colonialism in 1947, against South Africa’s illegal occupation of Namibia and the infamous
apartheid policy in South Africa India fully supported inclusion of communist China in the
United Nations.
26.1.4 Strengthening of UN
India has always viewed UN as a vehicle for peace and for peaceful change in world
politics. Apart from this, India has always expected UN to actively involve countries to
moderate their differences through talks or negotiations. Further, India has advocated
active role for UN in development effort of Third World countries.India has pleaded for a
common united front of the third world countries in the UN. It believes that the non-
aligned world by virtue of its massive number could play a constructive and meaningful
role in the UN by stopping the superpowers from using this world body for their own
designs. As early as 1950 India linked the reduction of armaments with the larger goal of
development.
The UN has in fact played a key role in preserving world peace by helping in the
decolonization process, by providing humanitarian and developmental assistance and through
peacekeeping.
Decolonization – refers to achievement of independence from colonial rule. After the
Second World War many colonies of achieved freedom in Asia and Africa.
MODULE - 6
Notes
280
Political Science
India and the World
Intext Questions 26.1
1. Fill in the blanks :
(a) _____________ was the main architect of India’s foreign policy.
(b) The Afro-Asian Conference, 1955 was held at ____________.
(c) The first NAM Conference was held at ___________ in the year __________.
(d) The Panchsheel agreement was signed between ____________ and ________.
(e) India hosted NAM Summit in ___________.
2. Tick ( ) the correct answer :
(a) Non-alignment and neutrality can be treated as same. (True/False)
(b) India opposed the policy of apartheid as practised by the government of South Africa.
(True/False)
(c) Nehru along with Tito and Nasser played a major role in the founding of NAM.
(True/False)
26.2 Major Concerns in India’s Foreign Policy in the Post
Cold War Period
The end of cold war in 1989 has brought about significant changes in the international
scene and hence new policy problems for the various states in the developing world including
India. The new situation is made by greater uncertainty and complexity.
For India, disintegration of the Soviet Union has meant uncertainty on several aspects viz.
supply of weapons system, supply of spare parts, diplomatic support on Kashmir and other
politico-strategic issues in and outside the United Nations and as a counter weight to US in
South Asia.During the last one decade and a half international politics has undergone
major changes. The cold war has ended, the world has become unipolar, a number of
states have disintegrated, cold war military blocs have lost their significance, some such
blocs have dissolved and new regional economic blocs are shaping up. Globalisation has
given rise to new set of problems such as terrorism, money laundering, proliferation of
weapons, global warming etc. These problems are not endemic to any region but affect all
the countries to some extent or the other. This has forced many nation states which were
hitherto enemies to cooperate with each other to solve problems which are universal in
nature. In this changed international scenario it has become imperative for UN to restructure
and reform itself if it is to effectively respond to emerging challenges.
Militancy in Kashmir has emerged as the formost challenge to our foreign policy. Pakistan
and the Western countries blamed India for violating human rights and denial of rights to
self determination.Gradually, India brought the situation under control.
Because of the Kashmir dispute, India’s relations with Pakistan sharply deteriorated. India
accused Pakistan of fanning trouble through cross border terrorism in Kashmir and other
parts of our country. India conducted nuclear weapon tests in 1998, followed by Pakistan’s
MODULE - 6
Notes
281
India’s Foreign Policy
India and the World tests. Pakistan resorted to further mischief by secretly sending its soldiers into Kargil in
order to cut off the Kashmir valley from the rest of India. India handled the challenge
firmly and effectively. Now engaging Pakistan in a constructive and composite dialogue
process remains a challenge to India’s foreign policy, because there is a great deal of push
from the United States
Spread of terrorism to corners beyond Kashmir is a challenge as well as opportunity for
our foreign policy now a days. India is interested in forging anti-terrorism coalition with as
many countries as possible.
Keeping old friendship and looking for new friendships is another challenge for our
foreign policy after the cold war has ended. For example, India is interested in
strengthening its relations without damaging its relations with Arab countries. Similarly,
India’s foreign policy is tackling new tasks like deepening economic and security
cooperation with the United States, while at the same time opposing unilateral actions
against Iraq and Yugoslavia. Finally, India is realizing the growing importance of
economic aspects of foreign policy. Hence, it is trying to establish a new basis for its
relations with neighbouring countries in South Asia, China and the South East Asian
counties.
Intext Questions 26.2
Q. 1. Tick ( ) the correcct answer :
(a) International relations in the post cold war period is based upon the bipolar model.
(True/False)
(b) Kashmir issue became the biggest foreign policy problem for India in 1990s.
(True/False)
(c) India’s foreign policy after cold war wants to neglect Arab countries and embrace
Israel. (True/False)
(d) India is trying to forge a coalition of countries to counter terrorism. (True/False)
26.3 India and the United Nations
26.3.1 India’s Contribution to UN Efforts for Peace and
Disarmament
The United Nations which came into being on Oct. 24, 1945 has been the most important
international organisation since the Second World War. The formal basis for UN activities
is the UN charter. The UN has a vital role in world affairs. For more than fifty years UN
has helped to manage relations between states and regulate a broad range of international
activities. It has worked to protect the security of people and promote peace and
development. One way in which UN has contributed to world peace is by taking up the
cause of disarmament India has also contributed immensely to UN’s disarmament efforts.
Disarmament is limitation, reduction and possible elimination of dangerous (like nuclear)
weapons.
MODULE - 6
Notes
282
Political Science
India and the World
Since independence, India has consistently pursued the objective of global disarmament
based on the principles of non-discrimination. Given the destructive capacity of nuclear
weapons, India has always believed that a world free of nuclear weapons would enhance
global security. Thus India has always advocated that highest priority be given to nuclear
disarmament as a first step towards general and complete disarmament.
India has contributed to UN significantly on disarmament in terms of ideas, resolutions,
initiatives and bridging differences through action plans. In 1948, India had proposed limiting
the use of atomic energy to peaceful purposes and elimination of nuclear weapons from
national arsenals. In 1950, India suggested formation of a UN Peace Fund created through
peaceful reduction of arms and directing the amount thus released towards development
purposes. In 1954, India advocated the cause for a comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty.
India was the first to become party to partial Test Ban Treaty in 1963. Hence India strongly
and consistents refused to join the Treaty. In 1964, India took the initiative to place the item
‘non-proliferation of weapons’ on UN agenda. However, the purpose was defeated by
the (1968) carried that a large numbering of counties from going nuclear, without firm
restrictions on the few nuclear weapon countries activities Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty
Although our country allged to the oppose to problem.
In 1984, India launched a Six-Nation Five Continent Peace Initiative along with Argentina,
Greece, Mexico, Sweden and Tanzania. Four years later (in a joint declaration issued on
the occasion of visit of President Gorbachev of Soviet Union the then Prime Minister,
Rajiv Gandhi made a forceful plea for the elimination of nuclear weapons. The Delhi
declaration enumerated ten principles for building a nuclear weapon free world). In 1988,
Rajiv Gandhi proposed an Action Plan for ushering in a nuclear weapon free and non-
violent world order. The Action Plan envisaged a binding commitment by all nations to the
elimination of nuclear weapons in stages by 2010. India is also an original signatory to the
Chemical Weapons Convention, having signed it on Jan. 14, 1993 and was among the first
65 countries to have ratified the treaty. In 1993 India sponsored a resolution on
comprehensive test ban along with the US within the overall framework of advancing
towards nuclear disarmament. India was distressed when final version of the CTBT was
rushed through without consenses. And it failed to address the security reasons of India.
Hence it bravely stood against the steadlity fashion in which some tests use canned while
sophisticated nuclear tests were not in a way, India’s conduct of nuclear tests in 1998
could we linked to the unfair framework of CTBT, though many initially misunderstood
India’s tests as a negative development for disarmament; India pledged to continue to
work for inaugural and non-discriminaly nuclear disarmament.
Intext Questions 26.3
1. India has always stood for
(a) a nuclear weapons free world
(b) a world where every country has nuclear weapons
(c) a world where nuclear weapons are selectively held by few countries
2. What do the following abbreviations stand for?
(a) CTBT (b) NPT
MODULE - 6
Notes
283
India’s Foreign Policy
India and the World
26.3.2 India’s participation in UN peacekeeping
India’s history of participation in UN peacekeeping operations is a long one. India’s
contribution has been described as excellent by many political observers. In UN. India’s
contribution has been acknowledged by members of the international communities.
Peace keeping stands for prevention, containment and termination of hostilities between
or within states through the non offensive activities of multinational forces of soldiers,
police and civilian people sent unto the authority of the United Nations with the consent of
the countries concerned. Peacekeeping nations changed in its scope and nature according
to needs of a conflict situation.
India has taken part in 35 of UN peacekeeping operations in four continents. Its most
significant contribution has been to peace and stability in Africa and Asia. Presently India
is ranked as the largest troop contributor to UN.
The saga of India’s role in UN peace keeping began with the establishment of the United
Nation’s Emergency Force (UNEF) in the Gaza strip and the Sinai in 1956 after Israeli
war against Egypt ended.The Congo in Africa benefitted significantly from troop presence.
India’s contributed to keep unity and integrity of that history in 1960s.
After the end of cold war, India’s contribution to UN peacekeeping remains significant
equaly, if not more, military personal at the request of the United Nations Secretery General
to Angola, Cambodia, Somalia, El Salvador and Sierra Leone etc. Many of these countries
were victims of chaos caused by civil wars. No government machinery collapsed or was
discredited. India sent not just troops, but police, doctors, engineers and administrators.
Intext Questions 26.4
Q.1. The first peacekeeping nation with Indian troops was sent to
(a) Korea
(b) Sinai
(c) Congo
Q.2. Which of the following statements is false ?
(a) India is one of the second largest troop contributors to UN peacekeeping.
(b) Peacekeeping was confined to cold war years.
(c) India’s role was significant in protecting the Congo from separation.
Q.3. India’s contribution to peacekeeping included
(a) only troops.
(b) only non-military staff.
(c) both military and civilian staff.
MODULE - 6
Notes
284
Political Science
India and the World
26.4 India’s Case for a Permanent Seat in the Security Council
As you already know, the efficiency of peace maintenance in the world depends on the
effectiveness of the Security Council but the Council has suffered in this regard due to its
outdated, unchanged membership. Presently the permanent membership of the Security
Council is confined to US, Russia, Great Britain, France and China. However, such
composition of the Security Council does not take into account the current global power
configuration which has changed since the days when these countries were inducted as
permanent members. Since India has emerged as the fourth fastest growing economy and
also because of the leadership it has provided in all international fora, its contribution to
UN peacekeeping, its track record in espousing the cause of the third world, India has a
strong case for a permanent seat in the Security Council. We are getting support from
many friendly countries. A final decision on the matter is likely to take some time, because
of its complexity.
Intext Questions 26.5
Q. 1. Which of the following is not a permanent member of the Security Council?
(a) Russia
(b) Great Britain
(c) India
(d) China
Q. 2. Which of the following statements is false?
(a) Cold war is over
(b) Soviet Union has disintegrated
(c) Globalisation is a reality
(d) United Nations has been dissolved.
What Have You Learnt
India has followed certain basic principles in the conduct of its foreign policy from which
it has not deviated much. In fact some of its basic features such as non-alignment still
remain significant and relevant. The proof of the durability of some decades old principles
lie in the efforts of India and China to revive the fifty year old Panchsheel as the basis of
bilateral relations. India has contributed significantly to UN efforts for peace and
disarmament and to UN peacekeeping operations. Even as India is poised to become an
economic superpower in the coming times, it always has and in future too will take necessary
steps to further its national interest in every respect i.e. political, strategic and economic
terms.
MODULE - 6
Notes
285
India’s Foreign Policy
India and the World
Terminal Exercises
(1) Discuss the basic tenets of India’s foreign policy.
(2) Discuss the relevance of the policy of non-alignment.
(3) How far are India’s claim for a permanent seat in the Security Council justified ?
(4) What are the challenges that confront India after the end of cold war and disintegration
of Soviet Union ?
(5) Write short notes on
(a) Panchsheel agreement
(b) India’s contribution to UN efforts for disarmament
(c) India’s participation in UN peacekeeping.
Answers to Intext Questions
26.1
1. (a) Nehru
(b) Bandung
(c) Belgrade, 1961
(d) India, China
(e) New Delhi
2. (a) False
(b) True
(c) True
26.2
1. (a) False
(b) True
(c) False
(d) True
26.3
1. (a) a nuclear weapons free world
2. (a) Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty
(b) Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty
MODULE - 6
Notes
286
Political Science
India and the World
26.4
1. (b)
2. (c)
3. (c)
26.5
1. (c)
2. (d)
Hints for Terminal Exercises
1. Refer to Section 26.1
2. Refer to Section 26.1.2
3. Refer to Section 26.4
4. Refer to Section 26.2
5 (a) Refer to Section 26.1.1
(b) Refer to Section 26.3.1
(c) Refer to Section 26.3.2
MODULE - 6
Notes
287
India’s Relations with USA and Russia
India and the World
27
INDIA’S RELATIONS WITH
USA AND RUSSIA
fter the Second World War (1945), the United States of America (USA or US in short)
emerged as one of the two super powers, the other being the Union of Soviet Socialist
Republics (USSR/ Soviet Union). These countries were militarily and economically so
strong as compared to other states that they could project their power to every nook and
corner of the world. When India attained independence in 1947, it wanted to have good
relations with both the countries. It was widely believed that a natural tie would exist
between India and the US since India seemed destined to emerge as the world’s largest
and Asia’s first, fully democratic state. And the US was considered the most powerful and
celebrated democracy of the world. So far as the relationship between India and the
USSR was concerned, a number of commonalties were easily noticed. But the directions
of India’s relationships with these two countries took different courses.
Objectives
After studying this lesson, you will able to
recognize US support for India’s struggle for independence ;
identify problems in Indo-US relations during the Cold War period ;
analyse Indo-US relations in the light of contemporary issues ;
explain the strong ties between India and the erstwhile Soviet Union in political and
economic fields ;
identify the areas of cooperation between India and Russia
27.1 Indo-Us Relations
Diplomatic contacts between India and the US were initiated in November 1941, six years
before our independence. There was a wealth of goodwill for India’s independence in the
US. The decision to establish diplomatic relations with India reflected the American un-
happiness with the British approach to the question of independence. The United States
A
MODULE - 6
Notes
288
Political Science
India and the World
believed that Britain should promise self-government to India after the War, in exchange
for India’s participation in the struggle against Hitler. The Atlantic Charter, spelt out by the
US and Britain, had offered hope of a new dawn to the suppressed people of the world
once the War had been successfully concluded. America got a lot of credit in Indian eyes
for this. However, Britain subsequently declared that the Charter applied solely to fellow
Europeans under Hitler’s Nazi occupation.
27.1.1 Relations in the Cold War Years
The relations between India and the US failed to achieve their full potential. Many factors
were responsible in determining the actual course. This was due to the preoccupation of
the United States with the ‘containment of communism’ which started the Cold War
between the US and the Soviet Union. The newly independent India, led by our first Prime
Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, refused to be drawn into the Cold War politics of competitive
military alliances promoted by both the super powers. Nehru chose the policy of ‘non-
alignment’ which aimed to give India the much-needed independence of action in the
sphere of foreign policy and relations. America regarded India’s refusal to collaborate as
a sign of unfriendliness. The cause of better Indo-US relations received a blow in 1954.
The US through Cold war brought rivalry to India’s doorsteps by forming two military
organisation SEATO and CENTO with Pakistan who joined these alliances as a key mem-
ber. The US military aided Pakistan, given to check the spread of communism, was used
against India contrary to initial assurances.
Intext Questions 27.1
Fill in the blanks :
1. Indo-US diplomatic contacts began in _________________ . (1941) (1947)
2. Which was the military alliances US found in Asia? (SEATO) (CENTO)
3. Name the American President who visited India in 1977.
(Jimmi Carter) (Richard Nixon)
The October 1962 war between India and China introduced a new element in the Indo-US
relations. Within India, there were for the first time many voices strongly advocating an
alliance with the US against China. Many also wanted a drastic modification of the non-
alignment policy. There was perhaps an expectation in the US too that India could now be
prepared to head an anti-Chinese and anti-Communist alliance. When the Chinese inva-
sion scaled up, the Government of India made an urgent appeal to Washington (US) for
military supplies. In a speedy response, the US President John F. Kennedy provided India
with small arms and equipment. The first batch of arms arrived even before the signing of
a deal between the two countries. Further, the US agreed to payment for these arms in
rupees.
However, the pro-American goodwill in India evaporated with the US reluctance to openly
blame Pakistan for starting the 1965 war against India. In addition to US support to Paki-
stan, US war on Vietnam contributed to certain coldness in Indo-US relations in 1960s. In
the beginning of 1970s, the US rapprochement with China (with Pakistan help) was an-
other turning point.
MODULE - 6
Notes
289
India’s Relations with USA and Russia
India and the World The Bangladesh episode created a new crisis in Indo-US relationship too. The US adminis-
tration (government) took the position that the East Pakistan’s (present-day Bangladesh)
revolt was a movement to break up Pakistan and that Pakistan’s brutal attempts to sup-
press it were justified. During the Bangladesh war (1971) the US moved a anti India
resolution in the Security Council and USA froze its economic assistance to India. The
only assistance that continued was food distributed free by voluntary agencies. Not only
that, Washington also made military moves. A part of the US Seventh Fleet was ordered
into the Bay of Bengal. The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Enterprise sailed to-
wards the Bay of Bengal in a show of solidarity with Pakistan army which could be saved
from defeat in Bangladesh. It took some time (a couple of years) for the US to recognize
India as the major country in the South Asian region. It was in this spirit of reconciliation,
India hosted President Carter’s visit in 1977.
However, once again another blow struck. The Soviet invasion of Afganistan in 1979 had
thrown India and United States on opposite sides. Pakistan became the closest ally to
facilitate military help to Afghan Mujahiddeen. No doubt India’s initial sympathies with the
Soviet action against Afghanistan harmed relations with America.
27.1.2 American Aid to India
There was a slow start to the economic assistance that India received from the US.
India’s food production at the time of independence was insufficient to feed its millions; its
industrial and service sector were also quite backward. That is why, India was dependent
on other countries for bilateral assistance. The first of the many food aid shipments to
India from the US started in 1951. In 1954, the US Congress passed a Public Law 480 (PL
480) allowing the sale of surplus American wheat to India. India continued to receive
foodgrains from the US under PL 480 till the early 1970s.
The story of suspicions in political relationship uses only one side of the coin. During the
cold war, despite political differences, India received significant economic and food aid
from the US, right from 1950s.
In addition to food assistance, the US had provided large bilateral developmental assis-
tance to India. However, you must not forget that this assistance was not available for the
development of heavy industry but in the field of agriculture, development of raw materi-
als and minerals. For creating a heavy industrial base, India had to turn to the Soviet
Union. The development assistance given by the US reached a peak of around $500
million in 1962.During the Bangladesh war, the US froze its economic aid to India. How-
ever, the bilateral assistance started in 1978 after a long gap. But the importance of bilat-
eral aid decreased from the late 1970s onwards because of the substantial increase in
multilateral assistance given by the International Development Authority (IDA), the soft-
money affiliate of the World Bank. Much of the IDA money was, of course, funded
indirectly by the US. In the 1980s, the World Bank lending typically ran into $2 billion (one
billion is one hundred crores or one thousand million). So, for India, the US stance towards
multilateral financial institution mattered more than the bilateral aid. US had no objection
to clear India’s request for a $5.8 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF)
in 1981 - the largest ever sought by a member country.
27.1.3 Contemporary Indo-US Relations
The end of the Cold War in 1990s left the United States as the lone super power. This new
reality brought a reappraisal of the Indo-US relations. New opportunities came up to bring
India and US close. Military-military contacts commenced; American investments started
MODULE - 6
Notes
290
Political Science
India and the World pouring in; and Indian skilled professionals in communication and information technology
projected India to US in a positive light. President Clinton paid a hugely successful visit to
India in 2000. On political front terrorism, non-prolification have been major issues. One of
the turning points of Indo-US relations in recent years was the American role in the Kargil
crisis in 1999. India viewed President Bill J Clinton’s role during the 1999 Kargil crisis in
persuading Pakistan to withdraw its troops from the Indian side of the Line of Control
(LOC) in Kashmir as an important milestone.
India tried to impress the importance of fighting the menace of terrorism, by highlighting
Pakistan’s role in Jammu and Kashmir. But the United States did not show much interest
in acting against terrorism till the US cities (New York and Washington) were struck in a
big way on 11th September 2001. India offered full cooperation to the US in counter
terrorism compaign. However our plea to US that Pakistan’s support to Taliban in Af-
ghanistan, and Jehadists in Kashmir made it the ‘epicentre’ of international terrorism fell
on deaf ears. The US needed Pakistan more than India to contact Al-Qaeda terrorists. So
US distinguished ‘good’ terrorists and bad terrorists. They extended sympathy when ter-
rorists attacted Kashmir Assembly and India’s Parliament in October and December 2001
respectively. Anxious to enlist allies in the war against terrorism, USA reverted to Cold
War partnership with Pakistan. Once highly critical of the military regime in Pakistan run
by General Pervez Musharraf, Washington now welcomed Musharraf as a full-fledged
partner in the international coalition against terrorism. The Bush administration lifted the
sanctions against Pakistan, pledged to provide generous assistance and gave the Musharraf
government a legitimacy it had never before enjoyed. India legitimately feared that Wash-
ington would tilt toward Islamabad once more.
USA was alarmed that events might go out of control. To show New Delhi that it took
seriously India’s accusations about Pakistan’s collusion in these attacks, the administration
of President George Bush placed the two Pakistan-based groups, India thought respon-
sible for the attacks on the US list of terrorist organizations. While not publicly accepting
India’s claim that the Pakistani government itself was involved in terrorist activities,
Washington’s words and actions clearly implied that Islamabad could and must do more to
crack down on terrorism.
US besides countries like Canada, helped India established nuclear power stations in 1963.
But the cooperation came under a cloud in 1970s, because of India’s peaceful nuclear
explosion at Pokhran in 1974 and India’s refusal to sign nuclear non-prolification treaty.
In 1978, the US Congress passed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Act in 1978. This law
stipulated that uranium could be exported to those countries which allow all their nuclear
plants to be inspected and safeguarded by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
It must not be forgotten that non-proliferation has been a steadfast goal of the US. And
major differences between the two countries over nuclear issues persisted. The US hoped
that India would sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) of 1996, but India did
not. When it detonated five nuclear bombs in May 1998 again at Pokhran and declared
itself a nuclear weapons state, the US imposed military and economic sanctions. Bilateral
relations seemed to have reached a new low, but India stood its ground. For two years, a
number of discussions between Jaswant Singh, then Foreign Minister of India and Strobe
Talbott, the US deputy secretary of state were held. Not since the early 1960s had the two
countries engaged each other in such a serious and sustained fashion. These discussions
transformed the bilateral relationship to a large extent. In 1999 US Congress lifted some
of the sanctions against India. This was the first among many such subsequent instances
MODULE - 6
Notes
291
India’s Relations with USA and Russia
India and the World of easing of sanctions by Congress. Recently, there is a growing awareness in the US to
recognize India as a responsible country with nuclear weapons.
With India opening up its economy in the 1990s, investment by American companies rather
than the aid came to be looked up as more important. The role of the young Indians in the
Information Technology (IT), i.e. computer hardware and software industry added a new
dimension to the trade between India and the US. Further, those IT professionals who
settled down in the US became the most successful single ethnic group there. They helped
create a different image of India in America.
Trade between India and the US in 2003 totalled around $18 billion. The heartening
thing about it is that Indian export to the US was around $13 billion and the US export
to India was to the tune of $5 billion. But trade between China and the United States
totalled around $180 billion: Chinese export to the US was about $152 billion, whereas
US export to China was around $28 billion. A point to note here is that the city of
Shanghai in China draws more American investment than the whole of India.
Intext Questions 27.2
Tick ( ) the correct answer :
1. The American arms came to India without political conditions. (True/False)
2. The Bangladesh war of 1971 strained Indo-US relations. (True/False)
3. During the Clinton administration Indo-US relations improved. (True/False)
4. USA is against proliferation of nuclear weapons. (True/False)
5. USA reacted to India’s nuclear tests in 1998. (True/False)
Fill in the blanks :
6. The American Congress passed _____________ to allow sale of wheat to India.
(PL 480) ( PL 408)
7. The development assistance from US to India reached a peak in ________.
(1962) (1965))
27.2 Relations with The Soviet Union
The relationship between India and the USSR was based on a number of common fac-
tors. India having won freedom from the British, the anti-imperialism ideology of the
Soviet Union compared well with each other. That is why, in India, there was skepticism
and often rejection of Western–inspired fears about Soviet designs and objectives.
The political relationship started dramatically improving after Soviet Communist Party’s
leader’s visit to India in 1955. In the Security Council the Soviet Union supported India’s
position on Kashmir and vetoed unacceptable resolution moved by the Western countries.
Highly significant was Soviet aid in developing a heavy industrial complex in India. During
the late 1950s, the Soviet Union gave growing financial and technical assistance to India
for the development of India’s basic industries in steel, coal, machine-tool manufacturing,
and other public sector areas. One of the landmark agreements that India signed with the
Soviet Union was in February 1955 for the setting up of a steel plant in Bhilai.
MODULE - 6
Notes
292
Political Science
India and the World
The terms of Soviet aid were favourable to India: when the western countries were charg-
ing 6 per cent as rate of interest, the Soviet Union charged only 2.5 per cent. In December
1953, India and the Soviet Union signed a long–term trade agreement. An attractive fea-
ture of this agreement was the fact that payment for Indian imports could be made in
rupees and not in hard currency like dollar. Trade with the Western countries, by contrast,
was in hard currency. For this purpose, accounts of the Soviet Union were opened and
maintained in several Indian banks.
Military supplies to India emerged as a prominent symbol of Indo-Soviet friendship. In
1962, just before the India-China war, the MiG (the fighter aircraft) deal was signed
despite Chinese protest. The USSR replaced the British as the biggest supplier of fighter
aircraft.
The Soviet Union hosted a meeting of leaders of India and Pakistan in Tashkant in January
1966 after the 1965 war. In August 1971, the Soviet and the Indian leaders signed the
historic Treaty of Peace, Friendship and Cooperation, the first of its kind that India had
signed. The Treaty provided for immediate mutual consultations in case either country
was attacked from outside. This clearly signalled Moscow’s commitment to stand by India
on the Bangladesh question.
India, in a way, reciprocated with support to the Soviet Union after it invaded Afghanistan
in December 1979. India was restrained in its public statements. For India, the Afghani-
stan issue had been somewhat overshadowed by the virtual military alliance between
Pakistan and the US.
With the coming to power of Mikhail Gorbachev in 1985, the Soviet foreign relations went
through a sea change. The emphasis shifted to the need for mutually beneficial relations
with the US and the West. His efforts to build a “Common European Home” undermined
the importance of the developing world like India. This along with the Soviet/ Russian
rapprochement with China led to a temporary downturn in Indo-Soviet relations.
Intext Questions 27.3
Fill in the blanks :
1. Which steel plant in India was financed by the USSR __________?
(Durgapur, Bhilai, Rourkela)
2. In which year Soviet leaders visited India for the first time _________?
(1955) (1957) (1971)
3. When was the Tashkent Declaration signed _____________? (1966) (1971) (1974)
4. In which year the Treaty of Peace, Friendship and Cooperation with USSR was
signed __________? (1971) (1979)
5. The Soviet terrorism policy shifted radically under the leadership of _____________?
(Mikhail Gorbachev/Mr. Putin)
27.2.1 Post-Soviet Era
After the disintegration of the Soviet Union in December 1991, under the new Russian
President Boris Yeltsin too continued with the policy of building close cooperation with the
MODULE - 6
Notes
293
India’s Relations with USA and Russia
India and the World US and the West, there were calls for a “pragmatic renewal” of ties with India. During
Yeltsin’s visit to India in 1993, the Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation was signed between
India and Russia. It replaced the 1971 Treaty of Peace, Friendship and Cooperation. The
security clause of the earlier Treaty was abandoned while the two countries resolved to
continue their peaceful and friendly relation. Another important breakthrough was the
agreement on debts and Ruble-Rupee exchange rates. A Treaty on cooperation in military
field was also signed and Yeltsin confirmed once again that India would receive cryogenic
rocket engines despite US objections.
The Indo-Russian relations attained a new high and momentum with the signing of Declaration
on Strategic Partnership during the visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Indian
Prime Minister Vajpayee’s November 2001 visit resulted in the signing of the Declaration
on International Terrorism. This declaration condemned the double standards adopted by
the west on terrorism.
Although Russia is not a super power any more, its significance for India cannot be
underestimated. Being a permanent member of the Security Council of the UN, it has the
power of veto. Further, as you already know, Russia is the only important world power
that has consistently supported the Indian position on Kashmir and cross-border terrorism.
It holds Pakistan responsible for the spread of religious extremism and terrorism in this
part of the world. The most recent support for Kashmir came in the form of the joint
statement issued at the end of three days visit of Prime Minister Vajpayee to Moscow in
November 2003. It called upon Pakistan to prevent infiltration of terrorists across the
LOC and at the other points of the border into the state of Jammu and Kashmir. It also
asked Pakistan to dismantle the terrorist infrastructure in Pakistan and Pakistan-controlled
territory as a condition for purposeful dialogue between the two countries. Among the
permanent members of the UN Security Council, Russia is the most prominent and
unequivocal supporter of India’s candidature for permanent membership in an expanded
Security Council.
Russia remains India’s most reliable supplier of high-quality military equipment. Russia
supplies more than seventy per cent of India’s defence need including the state-of-the-art
weapon systems and the technologies. The major Russian defence export include fighter
aircraft (such as MiG-21), main battle tanks (like T-72MI), helicopters, anti-tank missiles,
anti-ship missiles, submarines, nuclear submarine (of Akula-2 class) and aircraft carrier
(such as Gorskhov). In a “landmark deal” in January 2004, India agreed to buy the refur-
bished Admiral Gorskhov along with 12 Mig-29 fighter aircraft. The aircraft carrier will be
delivered to India by 2008. Defence co-operation between India and Russian is not limited
to procurement but includes production of many of these weapon systems in India (e.g.
Mig-27M, Sukhoi- 30MK, T-72 tanks, etc.). It also covers areas like joint research and
development and service to service co-operation. One of the most striking examples is the
Indo-Russian joint endeavour to develop, manufacture and market the supersonic (flying
faster than the speed of sound) Anti-Ship Cruise Missile Systems, BrahMos.
India and Russia have enjoyed strong historical ties. In the present international scenario,
their views of the world coincide to a large extent. This is further complemented by the
mutuality of their security and economic interests. Indo-Russian trade is the weakest link
in an otherwise excellent relationship. But the economic interaction between the two coun-
tries is brightened by cooperation in new areas like energy and security.
There are certain areas in which the bilateral cooperation between the two countries is
MODULE - 6
Notes
294
Political Science
India and the World
looking up. Energy Cooperation is one of them. India is emerging as a large consumer of
energy. Russia’s oil and gas reserves and its expertise in thermal, hydropower and nuclear
energy sector will be crucial in ensuring India’s energy security in future. A number of
thermal and hydropower projects have already been built with Soviet/ Russian collabora-
tion. India’s ambitious goals in the field of nuclear energy need Russian help since it is the
only important nuclear power which is ready to co-operate with India in the atomic energy
sector.
What You Have Learnt
India and the US are two great democracies. But for a long time the relationship between
them was far from smooth. The containment of communism was the major goal of the US
policy during the Cold War. But India did not want to join the Cold War politics. So India
followed the independent policy of non-alignment. And this was not to the liking of the
Americans. The relations between the two got strained when the US supplied arms to
Pakistan in the mid-1950s, despite the fact that the US was providing the bilateral eco-
nomic aid including PL 480 food assistance to India. The American support to India in the
early sixties during the Chinese invasion did bring about goodwill for the Americans. But it
was short-lived. The conditions attached to the food aid later in the decade created prob-
lems in Indo-US relations. The open support for Pakistan in the Bangladesh War and the
sending of USS Enterprise to the Bay of Bengal brought about the lowest point in the
relationship. The post-Cold War period saw a change in the relationship, especially when
America pressurized Pakistan to withdraw troops from the Indian side of the LOC during
the Kargil War in 1999. Further, American acceptance of India as a responsible state with
nuclear weapons did lift up the relationship.
Indo-Soviet Union relationship was based on a number of common grounds from the
beginning. The support of the Soviet Union on the Kashmir issue added depth to the
relationship. Further, the Soviet aid came in for the building of a self-reliant economy
including infrastructure projects like the Bhilai steel plant. Indian armed forces received a
lot of Soviet arms and ammunition. The Soviet Union allowed the production of fighter
aircraft like the MiG in India. The high point of Indo-Soviet relationship was reached
during the Bangladesh crisis in 1971 when India and the Soviet Union signed the friendship
treaty. The immediate post-Cold War period did see some downturn in the relationship but
recently it has been put on track.
Terminal Exercises
1. Write a note on the Indo-US political relations during the Cold War.
2. Describe the Indo-US relations with regard to the nuclear issues.
3. Analyse the Indo-US relations with regard to terrorism.
4. Write a note on Indo-US economic relations.
5. Highlight the major achievements of Indo-USSR relations during the Cold War.
6. Analyse the Indo-Russian relations in the post-Cold War phase.
MODULE - 6
Notes
295
India’s Relations with USA and Russia
India and the World
Answers to Intext Questions
27.1
(1) 1941
(2) SEATO & CENTO
(3) Jimmy Carter
27.2
(1) True
(2) True
(3) True
(4) True
(5) True
(6) Public Law 480
(7) 1962
27.3
(1) Bhilai
(2) 1955
(3) 1966
(4) 1971
(5) Putin
Hints for Terminal Exercises
1. Refer to Section 27.1.1
2. Refer to Section 27.1.3
3. Refer to Section 27.1.3
4. Refer to Section 27.1.2
5. Refer to Section 27.2
6. Refer to Section 27.2.1
MODULE - 6
Notes
296
Political Science
India and the World
28
INDIA AND ITS NEIGHBOURS :
CHINA, PAKISTAN AND SRI LANKA
n the previous chapter you have learnt that the major objective of India’s policy has been
the promotion of international peace and cooperation and developing friendly relations
with all countries, especially the neighbouring countries. Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri
Lanka, Bhutan, Burma and China are India’s immediate neighbours with whom it has
friendly relations based on bonds of common culture and heritage.
In this lesson we will study about India’s relations with Pakistan, China and Sri Lanka.
Objectives
After studying this lesson, you would be able to
identify the major sources of friction in Sino-Indian bilateral relations;
identify the various initiatives for resolving the border dispute with China;
analyse Indo-Pak bilateral relations in the historical perspective of Kashmir problem;
identify the nuclear rivalry between India and Pakistan;
trace historical, cultural and ethnic ties between India and Sri Lanka; and
explain the growth of Tamil Separatist Movement and its impact on Indo-Sri Lankan
relations.
28.1 India and China
India and China are the two great giants of Asia. Besides being the most populous countries,
they are also two of the most ancient civilisations of the world. Historically, several historians
have successfully traced the cultural linkages dating back to 2
nd
century BC.
As a result of the communist revolution in 1949, China became the People’s Republic of
China (PRC), under the leadership of Mao Tse Tung. Nehru regarded India as China’s
I
MODULE - 6
Notes
297
India and Its Neighbours: China, Pakistan and Sri Lanka
India and the World
rival for the leadership of the non-white people of the world. India, on the other hand, tried
its best to come close to China. It was the first non-communist country to recognise
communist China in 1949. India fully supported China’s claim for membership in the United
Nations. It also acknowledged China’s claim over Formosa (Taiwan). It refused to be a
party to peace treaty with Japan without China. In the Korean crisis too, India refused to
brand China as aggressor when China intervened on behalf of North Korea. In fact, India
supported China even though the Western bloc especially USA was displeased with it.
Nehru’s China policy received the first jolt in 1950, when China occupied Tibet in 1950. It
is important to remember in this context that India had long term interests in Tibet because
it was a buffer lying between India and China. India even enjoyed certain special privileges
in Tibet. Therefore direct Chinese control over Tibet was likely to endanger these, and
India’s security.
India’s suggestions for a peaceful settlement of the Tibet problem were treated as
interference by the communist regime. Gradually the Tibetans grew restless under China’s
yoke and rose in revolt in 1959. China ruthlessly suppressed the movement and declared
Tibet as an integral part of China. The head of Tibet, Dalai Lama took shelter in India while
Tibet lost whatever autonomy it still enjoyed. The granting of political shelter to Dalai
Lama by India added to China’s distrust.
China appreciated India’s neutral and mediatory role in easing the Korean problem (1950-
53). Thus, began a period of friendship between the two countries, with the signing of the
Sino-Indian Treaty of friendship in 1954. This treaty put a seal of approval upon Chinese
suzerainty over Tibet. The Preamble of the treaty embodies the famous ‘Panchsheel
Principles’ about which you have studied (lesson number 26). This agreement initiated a
period of relaxed relationship, marked by the slogan of Hindi Chini Bhai Bhai. It is
interesting to note that at the Bandung Conference (1955), Nehru actively brought China
into the hold of the Afro-Asian solidarity.
28.1.1 Boundary Dispute between India and China
The 1950s were marked by the boundary dispute between India and China, the flash point
of which unfortunately caused a war between the two countries in 1962. China first started
to claim large parts of Indian territory in North East Frontier Agency (NEFA, now Arunachal
Pradesh) and Ladakh by publishing maps in which these were shown as included in China.
China continued extending its borders and also constructed a 110 mile long road across
Aksai China area (Ladakh) of India in 1956-57. In 1959, China put claim to some 50, appa
sq. miles of Indian territory and also denied the validity of McMahon Line.
McMahon Line This is the boundary line between India and China, east of Bhutan.
It was determined in 1914 at a Conference of representatives of British India, Tibet
and China. The Secretary of State for India (in British Cabinet) Arthur Henry
McMahon represented British India in the Conference.
By this time Tibet had been fully integrated into China; it was in a strong position at the
India-China border with Chinese troops posted all along. While the two countries were in
dispute over the McMahon line issue, China launched a massive attack on India in October
1962, in the NEFA as well as the Ladakh sector. After overrunning large areas of Indian
territory, China announced a unilateral ceasefire after occuping huge territory of India 200
sq. miles in the North Eastern sector and 15,000 sq. miles in Ladakh.
MODULE - 6
Notes
298
Political Science
India and the World
A futile attempt to work out a peaceful settlement between the two countries was made by
Sri Lanka. The Colombo Proposals failed because China refused to agree on conditions
contained in them. For long in the years following the war, China–India relations did not
show any improvement. In fact, China went out of the way to make friends with Pakistan,
just to isolate and contain India.
28.1.2 Normalisation of Relations
Although the two countries resumed diplomatic relations in 1976 by exchanging
ambassadors. The efforts of normalisation of Sino-Indian relations received a boost when
the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi paid a successful five day visit to China in 1988. The
two countries pledged to settle the border dispute through dialogue. Several high level
visits followed including visit by Ex-Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 2003. The two
countries agreed to keep the border dispute apart, and develop friendly relations in other
fields. Until the border dispute is resolved, both countries agreed to maintain peace and
tranquility on the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
One could see a clear shift in the Chinese attitude towards India. The fact that erstwhile
USSR had mended fences with China, there were no more apprehensions from the South.
Moreover, China’s post-1979 economic transformation demanded big markets for its
massive production under economic liberalisation. President Jiang Zemin’s visit to India in
1996 witnessed a major consolidation of this progress. This was first ever visit of China’s
head of State to India. China’s withdrawal of support to Naga and Mizo rebels; meaningful
silence on the status of Sikkim (China considered Sikkim’s status as that of an independent
state) and a neutral stand on Kashmir issue could be seen as positive shift in Chinese
attitude towards India.
Nevertheless, there was suddenly a brief setback in the mutual ties of the two after the
nuclear explosions by India during 1998. These were followed by sharp Chinese reaction
and its leading role in getting the resolutions condemning the tests in UN and similar fora,
passed. These tests by India were seen as neutralising Chinese prominence in the region.
But the Chinese posture of neutrality during the Indo-Pak military showdown in Kashmir,
Kargil sector in 1999 exhibited China’s inclination to toe a softer and friendly line with
India. In fact, Chinese refusal to interfere in the conflict forced Pakistan for cessation of
hostilities with India.
However, Ex-Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s 2003 visit to China is a renewed
effort in the promotion of close and cordial ties between the two neighbours. The border
agreement has recognised the Nathula Pass in Sikkim as a border pass, implying that
China no more considers Sikkim as an independent state. Another positive breakthrough
was the Joint Declaration that underlined the need to explore a framework of a boundary
settlement at political level of bilateral relations. This is an acknowledgement that the key
issue in resolving the dispute is political. This is seen as Beijing’s readiness to give up its
policy of delaying dialogue. India’s National Security Advisor and Chinese Vice Minister
have been appointed for holding the tasks. The developments at the diplomatic and political
levels have been supplemented by fresh initiatives at the economic level to strengthen
bilateral relations. The border trade between India and China has crossed $ 10 billion
quickly.
MODULE - 6
Notes
299
India and Its Neighbours: China, Pakistan and Sri Lanka
India and the World
Intext Questions 28.1
1. China became a communist country in the year ……………… (1947, 1949, 1962).
2. Bandung Conference of Afro-Asian countries was held in the year ………………
(1945, 1949, 1955).
3. …………….. serves as the boundary line between India and China in the eastern
sector (Huang Hua border, McMahon Line, Indo-China border).
4. China liberalised its economy in ………………. (early 1970s, late 1970s, early
1990s)
5. _____________, the President of China visited India in the year 1996 (Chou-
Enlai, Mao Tse Tung, Jiang Zemin).
28.2 India and Pakistan
No two countries in the world have so much in common as India and Pakistan. Yet they
have perpetually been in a state of undeclared war with varying degree of intensity.
Pakistan’s aggression in Kargil (1999) brought the two countries even on the verge of a
nuclear confrontation. The legacy of suspicion and mistrust predates the partition of India
in 1947. During the freedom struggle the Muslim League, under the leadership of
Mohammad Ali Jinnah propounded the two-nation theory, in support of a separate Muslim
state. Jinnah insisted that since Hindus and Muslims were two communities, two separate
states must be constituted for the two communities. The Indian National Congress (INC)’s
long rejection of and reluctant acceptance of partition gave room for suspicion in Pakistan
that India would try to undo the partition and divide Pakistan. Moreover, Pakistan was
concerned at the possibility of India’s domination in the region and its inability to match
India’s power all by itself. Pakistan developed a perception that it is an incomplete state
without Kashmir being incorporated into it. On the other hand, India perceives Kashmir’s
accession and integration into India as an essential element of its secular and federal
democratic structure.
28.2.1 The Kashmir Issue
At the time of partition Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) was one of those several princely
states, the fate of which was left uncertain in 1947. Pakistan desired that Kashmir with
Muslim majority population should join Muslim country, Pakistan. But the popular leader of
National Congress opposed Pakistan’s ideology. Maharaja Hari Singh did not take a decision
until Pakistan sent armed intruders into the Kashmir valley in October 1947. Seeking
Indian help to repulse the Pakistani intruders Maharaja signed the ‘Instrument of Accession’
making Jammu and Kashmir a part of Indian Union. On this occasion, as true democrat,
Prime Minister Nehru assured that after Pakistani aggression was cleared, the future
status of the state would be decided on the basis of wishes of the people of Kashmir.
Since India did not want an open clash with Pakistan, it referred the matter to the United
Nations. Indian forces saved Srinagar from the invaders, pushed back the Pakistanis from
the Kashmir Valley. But the whole of Kashmir could not be recaptured, at it would have
meant direct and difficult war between the two new nations. India sought United Nations
help in 1948. A ceasefire came to be implemented on January 1, 1949. It left a large part
MODULE - 6
Notes
300
Political Science
India and the World
of Jammu and Kashmir (nearly 2/5 of the State) under Pakistan’s possession, which we
call Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK). In 1950s the UN mediators put forward several
plans to resolve the dispute, but they failed to bridge the differences between the two
conuntries.
The problem of Kashmir is still pending. Plebiscite was to be conducted only after Pakistan
withdrew its forces from the occupied territory, as per the UN resolution of 1948, which
Pakistan refused to comply. Hence India pleaded that the wishes of the people were
ascertained in 1954 in the form the direct election to the Constituent Assembly which
satisfied the accession of Jammu and Kashmir to India. The mediation come to an end.
Pakistan was desperate to capture Kashmir. Thinking that India’s army was weak after
defeat in the war with China in 1962, Pakistan tried through a war to take Kashmir in
1965. But Indian forces defeated the Pakistani designs.
LoC The Ceasefire line determined in 1949 was called the LoC after 1972. Some
people believe that the possible solution to Indo-Pak problem on Kashmir is the
conversion of LoC into international boundary.
Moreover, Pakistan suffered another humiliation, when its eastern wing, 1000 miles away
from West Pakistan successfully waged independence struggle in 1971. India played a
key role in the war to liberate Bangladesh. The birth of Bangladesh proved to be the final
burial of two-nation theory on the basis of which Pakistan put a claim to Kashmir. Pakistan
was reduced to one-fourth of the size of India. This altered the power equation in South
Asia in India’s favour.
In order to normalise relations India invited Pakistan for an agreement, the result of which
was the Shimla Pact of 1972. This Shimla agreement however bears important significance
as the two countries agreed to seek the settlement of all bilateral problems, including
Kashmir, mutually without the intervention of any third party. Thus under the Shimla Pact,
the Kashmir issue cannot be raised in international or any other forum, although Pakistan
has not hesitated to ignore the sprit of the agreement. The agreement also talked about the
return of Prisoners of War (POW). Though Pakistan’s territory in India’s possession was
returned, a new cease-fire line (in place of the old cease-fire line of 1948–49) was drawn,
which is known as the LoC, Pakistan found ways other than open war to destabilise India
by encouraging and assisting terrorism in Punjab, and the State-sponsored militancy in
Jammu and Kashmir since the mid 1980s. Pakistan still continues to encourage terrorist
and separatist tendencies in Kashmir, operating mainly from terrorist training camps situated
in POK.
The sanctity of the LoC that came to be agreed upon between India and Pakistan under the
Shimla Agreement of 1972, was violated by Pakistan in May 1999 as a part of a big plan.
This was done when the Pakistani forces infiltrated into India, after crossing the line of
control in Kargil, Drass and Batelik sectors of J &K. Indian army once again gave a
befitting defeat in a war that continued for about 60 days. The purpose of Pakistani operation
in Kargil was to create a crisis with a threat of nuclear war, which would in turn ensure
intervention by the United States in its favour on Kashmir dispute. Neither United States
nor China came to Pakistan’s help. In fact, Pakistan had a diplomatic and military defeat.
28.2.2 Nuclear Tests and Efforts Towards Improvement of
Relations
Indo-Pakistan relations acquired an entirely new dimension in the context of nuclear tests
MODULE - 6
Notes
301
India and Its Neighbours: China, Pakistan and Sri Lanka
India and the World by both India and Pakistan in May 1998. The relations between the two neighbours hit a
new low. India has been facing a nuclear threat arising out of China’s clandestine support
to build up of the nuclear weapon capability of Pakistan since the mid-seventies. No doubt,
Pakistan’s nuclear policy is targeted against India
The extreme bitterness and tension between India and Pakistan in the aftermath of the
nuclear tests of May 1998 did bring with it an increasing realisation on both sides that
things could not continue in the same manner indefinitely. That, some meeting ground
between the two neighbours has to be found. Thus, foreign secretary level talks started,
and a direct bus service between Delhi and Lahore was proposed. Prime Minister Vajpayee’s
Bus Diplomacy in 1999 marked a tremendous goodwill between the two countries. The
Lahore Declaration signed at the time underlined the need for resolving all outstanding
issues, including that of Kashmir, through peaceful means. While India agreed to bring
Kashmir onto the agreed agenda along with other areas of mutual benefits, Pakistan
conceded to bilateralism. The reference to the ‘composite and integrated’ dialogue process
implied that the two would not be a hostage to any single issue. Despite the rupture caused
by the Kargil war and the terrorist attack against our Parliament (December 2001) the
unconditional dialogue has been resumed. The emphasis in these talks is to promote people
to people contacts across LoC, and also improve economic ties between India and Pakistan
Change of government in India has not meant any deviation from our commitment to
peaceful and prosperous co-existence with Pakistan.
Intext Questions 28.2
State whether the following statements are True or False:
1. The two-nations theory was accepted by Indian National Congress. (True/False)
2. Maharaja Hari Singh of Jammu and Kashmir demanded assistance from both India
and Pakistan but only India responded. (True/False)
3. Pakistan occupied Kashmir is known as Azad Kashmir in Pakistan. (True/False)
4. The people of East Pakistan declared themselves independent in April 1971.
(True/False)
5. The Shimla Agreement was signed between India and Bangladesh in 1972.
(True/False)
6. Kargil war happened immediately after the nuclear test by India in May1972.
(True/False)
28.3 India and Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka, earlier known as Ceylon (until 1972), is a small island country situated in the
Indian Ocean to the south of India. Its total area is 25,332 sq. miles. Of all countries, it has
geographical proximity to India. Only 18 miles wide shallow water in the Palk Straits
separates Jaffna in northern Sri Lanka from the Southernmost tip of the Indian state of
Tamil Nadu. Its geostrategic location in the Indian Ocean (at the centre of commercial
MODULE - 6
Notes
302
Political Science
India and the World
and strategic sea and air routes) and its closeness to US naval base in Deigo Garcia indicates
its importance far beyond its size, population and resources. The history of cultural relations
between India and Sri Lanka dates back to the ancient times. Out of the total population of
Sri Lanka, about 64 percent believe in Buddhism and about 15 percent believe in Hinduism.
Sri Lanka became a British colony in early 19
th
century. It was granted independence on
February 4, 1948.
India-Sri Lanka relations have generally been cordial, though there have been occasions of
tense relations due to the ethnic conflict between Tamils and the Sinhalese. Despite ethnic
problems, India has never sought to impose its will on Sri Lanka and has always based its
foreign policy towards this southern neighbour on mutual understanding and friendship. An
important area of common interest between the two neighbours is the foreign policy of
non-alignment. Sri Lanka has generally stood neutral in Sino-Indian disputes. In fact, it
made efforts to mediate between India and China after the war of 1962. Sri Lanka also
showed understanding when India become nuclear. Recently in 2005, India extended valuable
help to Sri Lanka after Tsunami devastated the coastal areas of that country.
28.3.1 Problem of Indian Tamils
Jaffna province of Sri Lanka has large concentration of Tamil population. The problem
became serious when Tamilians began demanding a national homeland or “Eelam” in
northern Sri Lanka. It is important to understand that there are essentially two categories
of Tamilians in Sri Lanka: The Ceylon Tamils whose forefathers had migrated to Sri
Lanka centuries ago. They are estimated to be one million. The second category is of
Indian Tamils whose forefathers were taken by the Britishers as plantation workers in
the 19
th
century. They are another one million, many of them without citizenship. The
problem of their status dominated early India-Sri Lanka relations. The conflict with Ceylon
Tamils came later.
The Sinhalese fear Tamil domination, which is the principal reason behind the ethnic conflict.
The difference between the two communities was exploited by British rulers in order to
check the growing Sinhalese nationalism. The Tamils were allowed to enter the
administration structure and thus gradually took control of the trade and profession. Scarce
economic resources and opportunities plus the majority pressure from its own people
forced the Government of Sri Lanka to pass series of steps to reducing the importance of
Tamils- Indian and the Ceylonese. The representation of Tamilians in public service in
1948 was 30 percent, but by 1975 it had fallen to mere 5 percent. The Sinhalese were
encouraged to settle down in Tamil dominated areas in large numbers. The citizenship law
of 1948 and 1949 had deprived about 10 lakh Indian Tamils of political rights. The Tamil
youth who had lost faith in non-violence organised themselves into Liberation Tigers. The
aim of these ‘Tigers’ is a sovereign Tamil State of Eelam.
The issue of Tamilians, and the policy pursued by government cast a dark shadow on
Indo-Sri Lanka relations. India from time to time complained against the discriminatory
policy of the Ceylon government. The agreement of 1964 sought to solve the problem of
stateless persons (Indian Tamils) in Sri Lanka. About 3 lakhs of these people were to be
granted Sri Lankan citizenship and about 5 lakh 25 thousand persons were to be given
citizenship of India. These people were given 15 years time to shift to India in instalments.
Later in 1974, the fate of the rest 1 lakh 50 thousand stateless persons was decided. It was
agreed between the two countries that half of them were to be given citizenship of Sri
Lanka and rest would become Indian nationals. Thus, the issue of stateless persons was
sorted out peacefully between the two countries.
MODULE - 6
Notes
303
India and Its Neighbours: China, Pakistan and Sri Lanka
India and the World A territorial dispute arose between India and Sri Lanka over the ownership of one mile
long and only 300 yard wide small island known as Kacchativu, in 1968. In 1974 under the
agreement signed between the two countries, India accepted Sri Lankan ownership of the
island.
28.3.2 Tamil Separatism
The ethnic problem between Tamils and Sinhalese had a long history. It assumed serious
proportions in 1983. As the gulf between the communities developed, militancy, separatist
organisations became active. Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) demanded separate
homeland for Tamils in 1988 – Tamil Eelam. A reign of terror was unleashed against the
agitating Tamils in 1983. During 1983 – 86, about 2 lakh Tamils were rendered homeless.
The worst racial riots in the history of the country made thousands of Tamils refugees in
India.
India offered to help resolve the crisis but it was interpreted as “Indian intervention in Sri
Lanka” on behalf of the Tamils. When the situation became grim, India and Sri Lanka
signed an agreement in 1987. India offered military assistance under the Accord. Indian
Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) was sent to Sri Lanka to help restore normalcy in the
country. The deployment of IPKF was also an extension of India’s policy of reminding Sri
Lanka and outside powers that if their involvement inside the region were to have an anti-
Indian orientation, New Delhi would not remain a mute spectator.
Though the accord of 1987 was a triumph of Indian diplomacy, it proved to be costly for
India. India lost about 1200 soldiers and it costed Rs. 2 crore a day on IPKF in the height of
its involvement. The worst part was that the Tamils turned against IPKF and a fighting
broke out between the two. Rajiv Gandhi, the architect of India-Sri Lanka Accord of 1987
was assassinated in 1991 at the behest of LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam)
leader,Velupillai Prabhakaran.
28.3.3 Areas of Mutual Cooperation
Systematic efforts at strengthening economic ties have been taken by India and Sri Lanka
since the 1990s, especially after the withdrawal of Indian troops. In 1998, the two countries
set up an Indo Sri Lankan Foundation for increasing bilateral exchanges in various fields.
They have agreed on a free trade area to facilitate trade, which has gone up greatly.
India encouraged Sri Lanka to invite the peace process between the Tamils and the
Sinhalese. In 1998 Sri Lanka invited Norway to work out a peaceful solution to the ethnic
problem. India stands for unity of Sri Lanka The greatest milestone of this process was
the cease-fire agreement of 2002 between LTTE and Sri Lanka and the revival of the
dialogue between the two. From India’s long term point of view, Norway recognised
India’s legitimate interests in Sri Lanka and stated that it has no desire to come in the way
of any Indian initiative to end the conflict in the region.
Intext Questions 28.3
1. When did Sri Lanka gain her independence?
2. Name the two categories of Tamil-speaking people in Sri Lanka.
3. Regarding which island did India surrender her claims to Sri Lanka in 1974?
MODULE - 6
Notes
304
Political Science
India and the World
4. In what year did India send IPKF to Sri Lanka?
What You Have Learnt
Conflictual issues between India and China pertain to Tibet and the border dispute.
India recognised Chinese suzerainty over Tibet which is stated in the 1954 Agreement
between India and China. But the border dispute that escalated into a war in 1962 In
which India loss territory to China, still remains. After years of distance, India and
China are normalising relations by first improving economic ties, and now starting
border talks.
Kashmir is a bone of contention between India and Pakistan which has brought the
two countries into open clash in 1947, 1965, 1971, 1999. Cross border terrorism is a
major irritant. India tried to bring a positive change in the relationship of the two
countries through Shimla agreement , Lahore Declaration, etc. leading to increased
cultural and academic exchange. A composite dialogue is being pursued with Pakistan.
Relations between India and Sri Lanka can generally be termed as friendly, except
for the brief spell in which the Tamil ethnic problem cast its shadow on the relations
of the two countries. Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) sent to Sri Lanka was a
bitter experience to India. After their withdrawal in 1990, India preferred to keep its
hands off the ethnic problem of Sri Lanka, letting room for other countries like Norway
to initiate substantial peace process to the problem. But growing economic ties between
India and Sri Lanka are a symbol of mutual trust.
Terminal Exercises
1. Discuss the causes of 1962 war between India and China.
2. Explain normalisation of the relations between India and China since the 1990s.
3. Kashmir is the root cause of all problems between India and Pakisistan. Do you
agree?
4. Trace the causes of the separatist problem in Sri Lanka. Also discuss the steps
taken by India to help resolve this problem.
Answers to Intext Questions
28.1
1. 1949
2. 1955
3. McMahon Line
4. Late 1970s
5. Jiang Zemin
MODULE - 6
Notes
305
India and Its Neighbours: China, Pakistan and Sri Lanka
India and the World
28.2
1. False
2. False
3. True
4. True
5. False
6. False
28.3
1. February 4, 1948
2. Indian Tamils and Ceylonese Tamils
3. Kacchativu island
4. 1987
Hints for Terminal Exercises
1. Refer to Section 28.1.1
2. Refer to Section 28.2.2
3. Refer to Section 28.2.1
4. Refer to Section 28.3.2



WHO DEFINES HEALTH AS “A STATE OF COMPLETE PHYSICAL, MENTAL
AND SOCIAL WELL BEING AND NOT MERELY THE ABSENCE OR DISEASE OF
INFIRMITY”.

Let us ponder over adolescence issues
SENIOR SECONDARY COURSE
POLITICAL SCIENCE
STUDENT’S ASSIGNMENT – 2
Maximum Marks: 50 Time : 1½ Hours
INSTRUCTIONS
Answer All the questions on a seperate sheet of paper
Give the following information on your answer sheet:
Name
Enrolment Number
Subject
Assignment Number
Address
Get your assignment checked by the subject teacher at your Study Centre so that you get positive feedback
about your performance.
Do not send your assignment to NIOS
1. When was the United Nations established ? 2
2. What is the main purpose of the U.N. Charter ? 2
3. What is meant by Non-alignment ? 2
4. What function is performed by ILO. ? 2
5. Where and when was the 1st summit of NAM held ? 2
6. What is meant by Cold War ? 2
7. What is meant by Panchsheel ? 2
8. What is meant by NIEO ? 2
9. What is meant by Disarmament ? 2
10. List any four guiding principles of Panchsheel. 4
11. Describe any four functions of the Security Council. 4
12. What functions are performed by WHO. 4
13. What is Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Mention any three Human Rights. 1+3
14. List any four functions of UNESCO. 4
15. Identity any two problems of Indo-US relations during the Cold War period. 2+2
16. Highlight any two areas of co-operation between India and Russia. 2+2
17. Describe the boundary dispute between India and China. 4
18. Briefly explain the Kashmir issue between India and Pakistan. 4
306
19. Describe any four steps talen by India to strengthen the United Nations. 4
20. Explain the factors that determine India’s foreign policy ? 8
21. Explain the role of United Nations in maintaining world peace ? 8
22. Discuss India’s relations with the USA. 8
23. Explain Indo-Pak relations since 1990. 8
24. Write a detailed note on the relavance of Non-alignment. 8
307
OPTIONAL MODULE - 1
Notes
308
Political Science
World Order and
the United Nations
29
CONTEMPORARY WORLD
ORDER
he world of today consists of nearly 200 states, which are also known as countries. They
are similar in many ways. Each enjoys independence, with a government to administer an
army to protect the country against foreign invader. But, at the same time, states are
different in their geographical size, population, natural resources, economic conditions and
type of government, etc. However, no country – whether strong or weak, big or small –
can afford to conduct its affairs in isolation. They need to live together and work with
others for mutual benefit.
Although world affairs is mainly the sum total of relations among States, it is not limited to
States only. Contact and cooperation between ordinary people like us in our capacities as
tourists, journalists, businessmen, sportsmen, etc. are growing very fast. With satellite
technology and introduction of mobile, telephone conversations between people living in
distant countries has become easy. Not only this but also the live telecasts of sports,
political or cultural events or even of wars are brought to our sitting rooms by cable
television. All these developments have virtually made the huge world into a village where
a sense of togetherness prevails and problems are handled in that spirit. Hence, it is essential
for us to be aware of the happenings around the world. That necessarily includes trends in
world around us and also its problems.
Objectives
After studying this lesson, you will be able to
explain the meaning of ‘world order’;
discuss the working of bipolar world during the Cold War years;
trace the emergence of a multipolar world;
recognise that after the end of the Cold War, the world order has become unipolar;
recall the enormity of human suffering on account of wars, violence and terrorist
T
OPTIONAL MODULE - 1
Notes
309
Contemporary World Order
World Order and
the United Nations
activities in the contemporary world;
explain the meaning of globalisation and the factors responsible for it;
recognize the growing economic inequalities between the rich and the poor countries
in the contemporary global order.
29.1 Meaning of World Order
‘Order’ indicates a condition in which everything is in its correct place. It also refers to
respect for and enforcement of rules. Day-to-day activities would be normal and peaceful
if order exists. In the world affairs, order brings a certain method in the way one country
conducts its affairs with other states. The method can be noticed in the form of a set of
rules and principles, which are commonly accepted and respected by governments. These
rules and principles include equality of all countries, that one country should not interfere in
the internal affairs of another state, that force should not be used or even threatened in the
bilateral relations, that prisoners of wars and refugees should be treated humanely, etc.
For assisting countries to make and implement these rules, they often establish common
institutions like the United Nations. They are meant to assist in sorting out differences and
problems between countries through dialogue and diplomacy.
The phrase ‘world order’ may sound strange in the light of opposite realities. Though the
states are supposedly equal in a formal sense, there are gross inequalities among them.
And some of these inequalities have been recognised in the form of veto power conferred
on five permanent members in the UN Security Council. Countries often compete for
resources and influence, they suspect each other’s intentions and ambitions, and they
quarrel about borders, trade and several other issues. In fact, right now a dozen wars are
going on in counties of Asia, Africa and Europe causing death to millions and destruction
of valuable property. Moreover, problems arise not just between states but also within
those states. Many states are fighting civil wars. Civil war is a prolonged situation of brutal
war between state military and certain groups of people wanting to remove a government
from seat of power or form their own separate state. Sri Lanka is a good example of
countries fighting a civil war. Linked to this aspect is the spread of terrorism, which causes
fear among common people through indiscriminate violence and inhumane killings. Besides,
additional commercial and social pressure groups have emerged to make heavy demands
on state policies. Multinational Corporations (MNCs) in America and Europe have become
powerful enough to dictate the economic policies of many poor states, whereas the influence
of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) on official policies is growing very fast.
MNCs are big business companies based in Europe or United States. They have
spread their business in consumer goods, drugs, etc. to most parts of the world. You
are familiar with Multinational Corporations like Coke, Microsoft, General Motors,
etc. They make huge profits, and the annual turnover of some of the MNCs is higher
than many less developed countries. NGOs are those bodies formed by individuals in
their private capacity without direct involvement or role of governments. YMCA,
Rotary International, International Red Cross, are a few examples of thousands of
NGOs active today at local, national and international level. They work in the areas
of environment protection, development and human rights.
In the light of realities, you may wonder how the situation could be described as world
order. No doubt, a lot is unsatisfactory, but it is also true that a lot more in world affairs is
OPTIONAL MODULE - 1
Notes
310
Political Science
World Order and
the United Nations
orderly which is not readily noticed. For example, exchange of diplomats, rules regarding
wars, postal communication, air and sea traffic, treatment of foreigners, exchange of
currencies are part of international order. These and other aspects of international affairs
are regulated through customs and traditions, and also by rules laid down in various
international agreements and treaties. It is also common that states having differences
seek the help of another country or an international agency for reaching a compromise.
The talks currently in progress between India and Pakistan mirror these features of the
existing world order. That a world war has not taken place after 1945 speaks about the
positive side of the world order.
Let us recognise that world order cannot be idealistic ignoring the realities completely.
Political and other conditions continuously influence the nature of the world order at any
time. The world order in turn evolves gradually in response to these developments by
making necessary adjustments. The order does not completely break up to give place to a
new order; it only makes changes as per the actual trends in the world. These changes
may be good or bad, minor or major. In other words, major developments like the end of
the Cold War necessitate change in the existing order, not change of the existing order.
Intext Questions 29.1
(1) Who are the main players in world affairs?
(2) Are states equal in their size and strength?
29.2 Bipolar Order during Cold War
As you can imagine, Europe remained the theatre of world affairs up to the Second World
War. European countries maintained peace by forming alliances in order to ensure that no
single country (like France, Great Britain, Germany) could dominate the rest. The system
so prevailed was known as the balance of power. Britain mastered this policy for very
long. However, the method collapsed in the beginning of the twentieth century with the
First World War. In the meanwhile, the rise of countries outside of Europe – such as the
United States and Japan – extended the nature and scope of world politics.
The Second World War ended with the defeat of Germany, Japan and Italy in the hands of
the alliance comprising mainly Great Britain, Soviet Russia and the United States of America.
In the last stages of the war, the United States produced and dropped nuclear bombs on
the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The war had produced effects of long-
term importance. The United States with its economic wealth and the military strength, no
doubt, made a matchless contribution to the victory in the War. It was felt that the strengths
and leadership of the United States would be needed to maintain peace in the post-War
world, too. Without surprise, Britain, France and other European countries became dependent
on the United States for economic recovery and military security. Having contributed
significantly to the victory in the war, Soviet Russia was not to be sidelined; the country
claimed equal say in deciding on European problems.
Soon after the Second World War, the erstwhile allies, viz. the United States and the
Soviet Union developed differences about working together for the peace and stability of
Europe. There were political and ideological reasons for these differences. The United
States practised and preached democracy and free market enterprise as the desirable
OPTIONAL MODULE - 1
Notes
311
Contemporary World Order
World Order and
the United Nations
model of governance. On the other hand the Soviet Union believed in and sought to spread
the merits of governance by single (communist) party and of state-controlled economy.
These differences led to feelings of one being threatened by the other. So began the
bipolar phase in the world order immediately after the War. The United States and the
Soviet Union stood out as two opposite poles around which, to begin with, the European
politics revolved. While the countries of Western Europe joined hands with the United
States and called themselves the “Free World”, countries of Eastern Europe became part
of the Socialist camp led by the Soviet Union. These two leading countries of rival camps
were clubbed under the exclusive, new category of “super powers”.
The term “super powers” is distinct from the term “great powers”. Whereas the
world identified only two countries, viz. the erstwhile Soviet Union and the United
States as the super powers, the history of Europe records the existence of great
powers like Austria, Britain, France, Prussia, etc. The super powers individually
possessed military capabilities and economic resources far superior to other countries
in the rest of the world. With nuclear and other destructive weapons in their possession,
they were able to influence events in many parts of the world and policies of many
other countries.
Relations between East and West were never cordial. Short of going to war directly, the
two camps indulged constantly in political and military competition. This state of affairs
was widely called as the “Cold War”. The Cold War was marked by a great deal of
competition in forming military alliances, viz. the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)
and the Warsaw Treaty Organization and the arms race through sophistication of nuclear
weapons.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was formed in 1949 with the United
States and Canada and 10 countries in Western Europe (like Belgium, Britain,
Netherlands, West Germany, etc.). NATO members formed themselves as an alliance
to treat aggression against any one of them as aggression on all of them and fight the
aggressor together. The Soviet Union then cleverly offered to join the alliance. But
NATO turned down the offer because NATO’s real purpose was to stop the spread
of the Soviet influence and ideology. The Soviet Union set up in 1955 its own military
grouping (called the Warsaw Treaty Organization) with its allies in Eastern Europe
to counter NATO.
Soon the two Cold War rivals grudgingly acknowledged that each could destroy the other
in a nuclear confrontation many times over. In the face of such dangers, the bipolar relations
assumed new dimensions. On the one hand, the two camps got involved in local conflicts
in West Asia, South Asia, East Asia, Central America, and southern Africa. As a result a
good deal of military “aid” flowed to the newly found or prospective allies. At the same
time, attempts to stop the spread of nuclear weapons and deny their access to other
countries started in 1960s.
There were also some positive effects of the bipolar world order. Foremost, movements
for independence from European colonial rule gained great momentum in Africa and Asia,
as both Cold War blocs feverishly encouraged the trend in order to gain goodwill of the
native people. Beginning in 1960 nearly 100 new countries were born. However, these
countries did not want to compromise on their newly won political freedom by joining this
or that military bloc. Hence they launched the “Non Aligned Movement” which tirelessly
advocated world peace, nuclear disarmament, and economic advancement of the less
OPTIONAL MODULE - 1
Notes
312
Political Science
World Order and
the United Nations
developed countries. (India played leadership role in this effort.) Their collective voice and
influence could not be missed in the working of world forums like the United Nations.
Great many initiatives were undertaken to pressurise the super powers for disarmament,
and also calling for creating just and equitable economic order. Side by side, the clout of
the oil-rich countries (in West Asia and elsewhere) asserted their importance by manipulated
production and price levels.
By 1970s, significantly the bipolar world started yielding place to multipolarity. Scholars
and statesmen perceived presence of not two but many centres of power and influence in
world affairs. Apart from the collective bargaining strength of the Third World there were
many more interesting developments. The West European countries after enjoying the
economic and military protection from the United States recovered as part of regional
integration process known as the European Union. These countries have become a major
competitor for world markets to the United States. In East Asia too, economic rise of first
Japan and then China, followed by the Asian Tigers (like South Korea, Singapore, etc.)
loosened the grip of the bipolar world order. Interestingly, concerned over the challenge
from these new “poles”, the bipolar powers briefly tried reconciliation – known as “détente”
– during 1970s but they failed to sustain it. The bipolar world order continued till the totally
unexpected collapse of socialism in East Europe and the Soviet Union, which spelled
formal end to the Cold War era in the beginning of 1990s.
Intext Questions 29.2
(1) Name the victorious countries in the Second World War.
(2) Is it true that the importance of Europe declined after the Second World War?
(3) Which two countries were known as the super powers?
(4) Identify two military alliances formed during the Cold War era.
(5) Did the super powers attempt reconciliation? What was that process called?
29.3 Unipolar World after the Cold War
The fall of the Berlin Wall and the unification of the two Germanys set in motion a series
of stunning developments in Europe. Mobs in Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria and other countries
in Eastern Europe rose against socialist dictatorships and the regimes fell like a pack of
cards in quick succession, as the then Soviet Union under Michail Gorbachev’s leadership
was uninterested to militarily intervention. Soon the fever for freedom shook the master of
the socialist camp itself. The Soviet Union broke up into Russian Federation and 14 other
Republics in 1991. All these new states abandoned socialism and embraced Western
ideology of democracy and free market economy. It was regarded as a grand victory for
the United States. While Warsaw Treaty Organization was disbanded, the NATO continues
and is engaged in military activities in Yugoslavia and Afghanistan, something not originally
planned.
With victory in the Cold War, the United States became an object of both admiration and
fear. The US became the single remaining super power with the fall of socialism and
break up of the Soviet Union. To illustrate the domination of the United States, it may
suffice to cite just one area, arms exports. Although the arms exports markedly shrank by
OPTIONAL MODULE - 1
Notes
313
Contemporary World Order
World Order and
the United Nations
nearly half after the Cold War, the US share has remained dominant, approximately two-
thirds of the total value of arms exports.
To many observers, the dominance of one single country – unipolarity – aptly describes
the world order since the time the Cold War ended 15 years ago. The United States has no
challenger in claiming the top slot. The erstwhile enemy, the Soviet Union, is now an ally,
a partner of the United States in matters of arms control, international security, settlement
of regional conflicts, trade and investment. Despite occasional tensions, Europe is nowhere
near challenging United States power. China has achieved impressive economic progress
after abandoning the socialist model long before the end of the Cold War, but has limitations
in matching the United States power. The Nonaligned Movement has become less relevant.
Many socialist-oriented countries among the nonaligned too embraced free market ideology.
Economies were liberalised to attract foreign/Western investment. The role of International
Monetary Fund has become a key instrument of the United States in supervising the
adjustment process of these economies to market forces.
The new power realities are aptly brought to bear in the functioning of the United Nations
– a body designed to work for democratic and just world order. The United Nations began
playing “activist” role in restoring peace and security. The important security-related organ,
the Security Council earlier known for disagreements between the two super powers, is
transformed into an active agent of the US while other permanent members either
collaborated or looked the other way. Transparency and democratic functioning of the UN
suffered. The role of the United Nations during the first Gulf War to vacate the Iraqi
invasion of Kuwait in the early 1990s stands out as the best example of the new trend.
Nearly a decade later, an impatient US invaded Iraq in 2003 unilaterally without caring for
the United Nations. The functioning of the General Assembly and the Secretary-General
too suffered due to the domineering attitude of the United States.
Intext Questions 29.3
(1) Which country suffered defeat in the Cold War?
(2) Name the leader of the Soviet Union when the Cold War was declared over.
(3) Which country emerged as the most powerful country after the end of the Cold War?
(4) Did the emergence of the unipolar world help functioning of the United Nations?
29.4 Instability under Unipolarity
Regrettably, peace and stability in the world do not accompany unipolarity. An important
feature of the post-Cold War times is the multiplicity of challenges to the nation state.
Unlike in the bipolar times, many countries now face threats to their existence from internal
as well as external sources. Prior to 1990, territorial unity of countries was guaranteed as
an essential condition for stability. The Soviet disintegration encouraged demands for
separate statehood based on ethnic, linguistic or religious identity. The founding member
of the Nonaligned Movement, Yugoslavia broke up into five pieces in a bitter process, and
so formed states like Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina too soon faced serious threats of further
disintegration on narrow ethnic lines. Soon afterwards, Czechoslovakia was split into two.
OPTIONAL MODULE - 1
Notes
314
Political Science
World Order and
the United Nations
Eritrea got independence from Ethiopia after prolonged struggle for exercise of ‘right to
self-determination’, although problems over border have brought the burden of a new war
between the two poor nations. East Timor is the latest in the list of territories that successfully
claimed right to self-determination in a violent atmosphere. No one could say that worst is
over.
The idea of “right to self-determination” aims to enable a population, under foreign
occupation or domination, to freely choose their own system of government. The
American War of Independence and the French Revolution in the 18
th
century
promoted this idea. After the First World War, new states like Austria, Yugoslavia
came into being by applying the right to self-determination in central Europe. After
1945, the colonized people in Africa, Asia and Caribbean successfully demanded the
right to self-determination to gain freedom from their colonial masters. Of late, some
disgruntled groups (like in Kashmir) are interpreting the right to self-determination to
secede or separate from the existing state. There are widespread fears that agreeing
to such demand would lead to break of many countries on ethnic, linguistic, religious
lines. It could even pose a major danger to the contemporary world order.
Regimes in many countries are fighting civil war against one or more rebel groups, and as
a consequence state machinery has ceased to function or even exist in these unfortunate
countries. Afghanistan, Angola, Burundi, Congo, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Somalia are among
the victims of this kind of instability. Some of them have been branded as “failed states” –
a source of worry to the rest of the world. At the same time some countries continued to
face threats of interference and military intervention from outside. The delicate situation
of Georgia in Europe and Zaire in Africa illustrates this trend.
The civil wars are being fought in the most brutal and uncivil fashion. Reports are available
about reckless use of small arms (like AK-47s), hand grenades, and landmines, which
have brought misery to the millions of unconnected and innocent men, women and children.
Nearly 20 million lives were lost in violent clashes in the past 15 years. According to
estimates 95 out of a hundred deaths in these wars are innocent civilians. Clearing a city
or town of ethnic minority groups through mass killings, forcible use of children as soldiers,
gang rapes of women are key and inhumane features of the civil wars. Human rights
violations by the official troops or rebels have now become a central concern for those
interested in security and stability as components of the post-Cold War global order. The
focus clearly shifted from the state security during the Cold War era to human security.
On the other hand, a number of countries fear that human rights could be used as a pretext
for foreign military interventions. In 2003 the United States invaded and occupied Iraq
after accusing the regime of Saddam Hussein of using deadly weapons against Shia and
Kurd sections of Iraqi population. A vast majority of countries criticised the US action as
illegal and unjustified, and also accused the US of misusing the human rights plank for its
own selfish interests. Ironically thousands of Iraqis and Americans lost – are losing – their
lives because of the continuing warfare between the American coalition and the Iraqi
resistance forces. There are apprehensions that the Iraqi venture could turn out as the
biggest mistake of the United States comparable to its defeat in the war against Vietnam
(1963 – 73).
Among other factors, religious intolerance is contributing to instability in the contemporary
world. Though religious extremism is commonly identified with Islam, it is not true that it is
confined to one religion alone. Many of these groups enjoy wide network of patronage
cutting across national boundaries encompassing supply of military hardware and funds.
OPTIONAL MODULE - 1
Notes
315
Contemporary World Order
World Order and
the United Nations
This network is said to include mafia connected with drug trafficking, arms dealing, etc. In
other words, the internal disorder faced by many countries often has cross-border linkages.
It is these linkages that made international terrorism the most dangerous aspect threatening
security of not just one or the other state, but the world order at large. Al Qaeda under the
leadership of Osama bin Laden is one of the most feared terrorist organisations in the
world today. We all are familiar with the daredevil attacks planned and organised allegedly
by Osama bin Laden’s followers against the World Trade Center in New York and other
locations in the United States on 11 September 2001. Although terrorism as a menace
existed much before 11 September 2001, the incident demonstrated on the television screens
how the mightiest power on earth was so easily shaken. In South Asia, India and Sri
Lanka have been fighting terrorists for more than a decade. And now terrorism has spread
to other countries like Bangladesh, Nepal, and Pakistan in South Asia, Malaysia and Indonesia
in Southeast Asia, Palestine, Lebanon and Egypt in West Asia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan in
Africa and so forth. In a shocking incident in September 2004, Chechnya-associated
terrorists seized a school in southern Russia and in an unfortunate showdown with Russian
commandos caused death to 350 young school children.
In short, these aspects of instability point to the need to look at security in a new way. The
scope of security has expanded; it includes not only absence of foreign aggression but also
internal stability. Security does not just mean building up strong military force to protect
state; it has to ensure economic, social, environmental well being of people. Moreover, all
these problems including terrorism cannot be tackled alone by a state but by all countries
together.
Intext Questions 29.4
(1) Did unipolar era spell stability in the world order?
(2) Name some of the countries that were divided territorially.
(3) Give examples of countries under the spell of civil wars.
(4) Innocent population remained unaffected by wars and violence. True or False?
29.5 Positive and Negative Effects of Globalization
No doubt, the twenty first century world is in the thick of globalisation which is chiefly
economic in focus, although there are striking cultural and political dimensions also. The
end of the Cold War and near universal adoption of privatisation and economic liberalisation
as the only route to growth and development served as the right setting for significant
changes in the conduct of economic or business transactions during the 1990s. There
were other developments, which contributed to the deepening of globalisation. Advances
in information and communication technology that are associated with use of computer
and internet have heralded the “electronic age”. Along with the existing financial institutions
of the world like the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank whose power and
reach now have become global, an equally powerful new organization dedicated to promotion
of free trade has come into being. It is the World Trade Organisation. The whole world
has become a single market allowing foreign investments and free flow of goods across
national boundaries. In the new climate, multinational corporations have gained global
respect and access.
OPTIONAL MODULE - 1
Notes
316
Political Science
World Order and
the United Nations
Globalisation is a process of integrating the world into one market to enable easy movement
of capital, goods, information and even workers across borders with no barriers. Private
firms can invest and disinvest at will, locate production centres at a profit yielding or cost
reducing anywhere in the world, hire employees of foreign origin on cheaper rates, assign
work to far away people with the desired skills and experience, and flood markets in the
developing countries with consumer and other goods for sale at rates competitive to local
products, and safely take back profits. All this is happening with the help of technology
access to which is not yet universal or equal. The globalisation process as manifested in
the activities of multinational corporations, media giants and non-governmental organisations
has considerably undermined the sovereign prerogatives of the state structures in the
Third World. Territorial borders identified with nation states have become less effective to
check ill effects of globalisation.
The bulk of the world community – the developing countries - has become part of
globalisation with great hope. Let us look at India’s experience. With strengths like well
developed and highly competitive computer software industry, the availability of technical
and skilled work force and its potential as a very large middle class market, India has
hopes to benefit in the era of globalisation. Since 1991, India changed the orientation of its
economic policy by injecting pronounced features of privatization, liberalisation of rules
for foreign investment, and disinvestment of public sector companies. Customers are
flooded with an amazing choice of goods in the market – from motor cars to food products.
India’s exports have gone up especially in service sector, investments have come into the
country, and our foreign exchange reserves are extremely comfortable. Overall, India
during globalisation has emerged as one of the fastest growing economies in the world.
Though India is open to beneficial aspects of globalisation, it is concerned over the adverse
effects. American companies, currency, TV channels and weapons have taken over the
world. Many local companies are being shut down causing unemployment to millions even
in the advanced countries. Withdrawal of Governmental support through subsidies in
fertilizers, electricity and other essential needs has added to the misery of rural and farming
sections. The income gaps between the rich and the poor both among and within countries
have sharply widened. Nearly one half of the world population (concentrated mostly in
sub-Saharan Africa and south Asia) are in terrible poverty. While official aid from the rich
donor countries has not grown, the debt burden of the developing countries has increased
to worrying levels. On the other hand, the assets of top 3 billionaires in the world are said
to be greater than the combined national wealth of all the least developed countries put
together. Goods of the least developed countries are denied preferential access to markets
in the advanced countries. Moreover, our life styles are undergoing significant shift
embracing meaningless consumerism. Thanks to globalisation, nations live with the fear
about the spread of the diseases like AIDS. The initiatives taken so far to address the
above problems have proved insufficient. There is need to provide human face to make
globalisation just and even-handed in its effects. Otherwise the credibility of contemporary
world order may come under question.
Intext Questions 29.5
(1) Globalisation is confined to economic areas alone. (True or False)?
(2) Private companies in the West benefited most from globalisation. (True or False)?
(3) Globalisation is aided by revolution in information and communication technology.
(True or False)?
(4) Income gaps between and within countries increased. (Yes or No)?
OPTIONAL MODULE - 1
Notes
317
Contemporary World Order
World Order and
the United Nations
What You Have Learnt
Multi-ethnic states with differences in size and capabilities have traditionally constituted
the bulk of world order. The few powerful countries have played significant role in shaping
the world order by setting certain rules and principles to guide relations among countries.
Peace and development have become the most important goals of the world order for the
past century. But these goals have been ill served by the Cold War and the emergence of
the bipolar world for nearly half a century during 1945 – 1990. During this period, however,
the European Union and the Nonaligned Movement gained some influence and tried to
make the world multipolar. The end of the Cold War and the emergence of the United
States as the most powerful country made the world unipolar. This shift in the world order
has only added problems especially in the context of political instability in different parts of
the world. The economic globalisation, which has swept the world like a hurricane, has
only induced income inequalities between peoples and countries.
Terminal Exercises
1. Outline the meaning and basic features of world order.
2. How did United States and the Soviet Union fight the Cold War?
3. Elaborate how the bipolar world gradually gave place to multipolarity?
4. Describe civil wars and terrorism as features of the unipolar world.
5. Discuss the negative effects of globalisation.
Answers to Intext Questions
29.1
(1) States, commonly known as countries.
(2) No.
(3) Regulation of relationships among countries through observance to accepted principles
and rules.
29.2
(1) The United States, the Soviet Union, and Great Britain.
(2) Yes.
(3) The US and the Former Soviet Union.
(4) NATO and the Warsaw Treaty Organisation.
(5) Yes, it was known as Détente.
29.3
(1) The Soviet Union.
OPTIONAL MODULE - 1
Notes
318
Political Science
World Order and
the United Nations
(2) Mikhail Gorbachov.
(3) The United States.
(4) No.
29.4
(1) Yes.
(2) Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, etc.
(3) Afghanistan, Somalia, Sierra Leone, Yugoslavia, etc.
(4) False.
29.5
1. False
2. True
3. True
4. Yes
Hints for Terminal Exercises
1. Refer to Section 29.1, paragraphs 1 and 3.
2. Refer to Section 29.2, paragraph 4
3. Refer to Section 29.2, paragraph 6
4. Refer to Section 29.4, paragraph 3, 6
5. Refer to Section 29.5, paragraph 3
Notes
319
The United Nations
OPTIONAL MODULE - 1
World Order and
the United Nations
30
THE UNITED NATIONS
he United Nations (UN) is an important international
institution of our times. It was set up in 1945 with 51
countries as member nations and its current membership is
192. Most of the countries in the world today are members
of the United Nations. The activities of the United Nations
reflect the needs and hopes of not just the governments but
the people of the world at large. The United Nations is,
therefore, a world organization and its activities are wide-
ranging. Without exaggerating, there is not a single aspect
of our life that is not touched by the ever-increasing scope
of the United Nations’ activities.
Objectives
After studying this lesson, you will be able to
trace the origins of the United Nations (UN);
identify its objectives and basic principles;
describe the composition and functions of the principal organs of the UN;
recall its contributions in the fight against evil practices like apartheid, colonialism
and promotion of human rights;
emphasize the need for restructuring of the Security Council to make it more
representative;
explain that the United Nations is the only hope for a peaceful and better world.
30.1 Origins of the United Nations
The first half of the twentieth century witnessed two World Wars that caused death to 80
million people. Each of those wars strengthened the determination of world leaders and
people to set up institutions for peaceful world.
The United Nations
T
Notes
320
Political Science
OPTIONAL MODULE - 1
World Order and
the United Nations
Even before the complete defeat of the enemy countries (viz. Germany, Japan, and Italy)
in the Second World War, the allied powers led by the USA, former Soviet Union and the
UK started planning an organization in place of the League of Nations. The US president,
Roosevelt and the British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill signed the Atlantic Charter in
August 1941 indicating their desire for a post-war peace institution. Then, a series of
conferences followed at Moscow, Teheran, Dumbarton Oaks and Yalta to discuss various
ideas and proposals. Finally, the United States hosted the San Francisco Conference in
early 1945 to finalise and sign the Charter of the new organisation, the ‘United Nations’.
The United Nations was established on 24
th
October 1945. Since then, we celebrate
24
th
October as UN Day.
The Charter is the Constitution of the United Nations. It lists the purposes of the organization,
the principles guiding the conduct of both the United Nations and its member countries, the
principal organs along with their composition and powers.
30.1.1 Purposes and Principles
The Charter indicates, at the very beginning, four broad objectives of the United Nations.
They are
(i) to maintain international peace and security through collective measures for
suppression of aggression and through peaceful settlement of disputes;
(ii) to develop friendly relations among countries based on full respect for the principle
of equality and self-determination;
(iii) to achieve international cooperation in the economic, social, cultural or humanitarian
fields, and
(iv) to encourage respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.
In pursuit of the above objectives, both the United Nations and its member states are
required to adhere to a set of important guiding principles. The foremost among them is
the principle of equality among countries whether big or small, strong or weak. The United
Nations will not interfere in the domestic matters of the member countries.
The member states of the United Nations are expected to resolve their disputes with
other states in a peaceful manner without endangering international peace and security.
Further, the member states should refrain from threats or use of force against another
member. It is the duty of the members to assist the United Nations in the enforcement
of peace.
As we have already noted, the maintenance of international peace and security is a very
important purpose of the UN. Other purposes are complementary to the purpose of peace.
In discussing the role of the UN, we should bear in mind one basic aspect of the world
body: it is a political body serving its member governments in the context of global politics.
Neither the preferences of governments, nor the trends in international politics are
static; they change from time to time. Hence, in the exercise of its powers, the UN
cannot be rigid, mechanical or uniform. The role of the UN is marked, therefore, by
flexibility and pragmatism. Generally, the UN preferred not to take a harsh view or
condemn the aggressor country whenever it received complaints on a breach of peace.
Instead, it directed its efforts to stop the fighting immediately and to seek withdrawal of
troops to pre-war locations.
Notes
321
The United Nations
OPTIONAL MODULE - 1
World Order and
the United Nations
Intext Questions 30.1
Fill in the blanks :
1. The United Nations Charter was signed in 1945 at the city of ________ (Geneva,
New York, San Francisco)
2. _______________ countries were the original members of the United Nations
(45,51,191)
3. The main purpose of the United Nations Charter is __________________.
Mark the following sentences as True or False
4. Sovereign equality among the member states is a cardinal principle of the United
Nations. (True/false)
5. The United Nations cannot normally take up domestic problems of its member
countries. (True/ false)
6. The United Nations membership has not increased since its existence. (True/False)
30.2 Principal Organs : Composition and Functions
To promote the goals of peace and cooperation, the United Nations has six principal organs.
They are;
1 The General Assembly
2 The Security Council
3 The Economic and Social Council
4 Trusteeship Council
5 International Court of Justice
6 Secretariat
Although these principal organs are inter-linked in many ways, each one of them is distinct
in terms of its compositions and powers. Let us examine them one by one.
30.2.1 The General Assembly
Among the principal organs, the General Assembly is the central body. The principles of
sovereign equality and universality are embodied in its composition. All members of the
United Nations (presently191) are members of the General Assembly. Irrespective of size
or strength, every member has one vote in the Assembly. A vote cast by the United States,
for example, is equivalent to the vote of Bhutan or Cuba. The Assembly discusses problems
brought to it, makes recommendations on peace and security questions, admits new
members, and adopts UN budget. On important matters, it adopts resolutions with the
support of two-third majority. Procedural decisions require only a simple majority. The
Assembly meets in regular session every year. It has convened 59 such sessions so far.
The Assembly also meets, when need arises, in special sessions and emergency special
sessions.
Notes
322
Political Science
OPTIONAL MODULE - 1
World Order and
the United Nations
The General Assembly is some times called as the world parliament. It can discuss any
matter. It discusses matters which include peace and security questions, environmental
protection, economic development, problems of colonial administration, disarmament,
refugees, population explosion, use of global commons like outer space and deep seaboard.
It can only make recommendations. As part of this function, the Assembly has adopted a
number of important declarations containing principles of international cooperation in political,
economic, social and other matters. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948),
the Declaration on Decolonisation (1960), Declaration on New International Economic
Order (1974), Declaration on Rights of the Child (1989), Declaration on International
Terrorism (1994) are only a few examples. They are common goals desirable for
governments to implement in their national policies and programmes. The Declarations
are not binding on countries. Yet, they carry great moral and political weight. Therefore,
governments find it difficult to ignore them.
The Assembly has also adopted several laws like the covenant on civil, political, economic
rights of individuals, the laws of exploitation of seas, laws prohibiting or controlling chemical
and biological weapons, and so on. These laws are not like the laws of our Parliament
which are automatically binding on all of us whereas these international laws and conventions
are legally binding only on those states that agree to comply with them. The Assembly
elects members of various organs. It appoints the Secretary General. It supervises the
work of the Economic and Social Council, the Security Council, the Trusteeship Council
and other bodies. The Assembly has the power to approve the budget of the United Nations
and to apportion the amount among all the member countries.
30.2.2 The Security Council
The Security Council is the most powerful decision-making body of the United Nations. It
has the main responsibility to maintain international peace and security. The Council is a
contrast from the General Assembly, in respect of both its composition and the decision-
making procedure. Unlike the Assembly, the membership of the Council is limited to 15
countries only, out of which five are permanent members. These five countries are China,
France, Russia, the UK and the USA. The remaining ten members- called non-permanent
members are elected by the General Assembly for a term of two years. They represent
different geographical regions of the world like Asia, Africa, Latin America, Western and
Eastern Europe. It was initially hoped that its small size could make it easy for the Council
to take decisions on procedural matters by nine affirmative votes (simple majority). On
substantive questions, the nine affirmative votes should include concurring vote of the
permanent members. In other words, the Council cannot take decisions of major significance
if any one of the five permanent members casts a negative vote. This special privilege of
the permanent members is popularly known as the veto power. To abstain from voting in
the Security Council is not veto. The veto provision has faced criticism from the very
beginning. The veto power dilutes the principle of sovereign equality of member countries.
Veto: The five permanent members of the UN have power or privilege to cast a
negative vote on substantive questions or matters. This privilege is known as veto
power.
The power and functions of the Security Council are limited to the task of maintenance of
international peace and security. In case, a dispute arises between two or more countries
the Council can make appropriate recommendations in the interest of peaceful settlement
of the dispute. Nevertheless, these recommendations are not binding on the unwilling
Notes
323
The United Nations
OPTIONAL MODULE - 1
World Order and
the United Nations
states. For example, on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, the Security Council resolutions
are not legally binding on either India or Pakistan unless both countries willingly accept
them. The Council can use extraordinary power to deal with wars or threats of war
between countries. In such an event, the Council can determine who the aggressor is and
can call for necessary steps to restore peace. These steps may include, at the discretion of
the Council, economic sanctions like freezing of assets abroad, banning of exports and
imports, or military action by land, sea or air. Notably, whenever the Security Council
takes such steps, they are binding not only on the states directly involved in the war but
also on all members of the United Nations. Once, the Security Council takes a decision, it
is the duty of the member countries to carry out decisions. Obviously, the Council can take
such important decisions only with the agreement among the permanent members. In the
recent years, after the end of the cold war, the Council has frequently used its binding
powers to deal with various problems of international peace and security. The role of the
Security Council in discharging its functions depends on the specific circumstances of
each case and the existence of broad agreement among the five permanent members. It
is important to note that the Security Council has imposed varying sets of economic and
diplomatic sanctions against 25 countries so far. These sanctions included cutting off
diplomatic relations, stopping of oil imports and exports, banning weapons supplies, freezing
of assets abroad, etc. Haiti, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, South Africa were among the targets of
these sanctions. Since no armed forces are placed under the UN to fight an aggressor
even after five decades of the Charter’s commitment to it, it has requested member countries
to contribute towards such a force to take military action for restoring peace. The UN
authorized military action to push North Korean forces from South Korea in 1950 and Iraq
from Kuwait in 1990. Notability in a recent case, the Council refused to authorize the US
war against Iraq. Therefore, the US war on Iraq (2003) was illegal. The Security Council
sends soldiers of member countries to a troubled area, with the agreement of the
governments concerned, to bring calm and normalcy. This largely successful activity is
known as ‘peace keeping operations’.
30.2.3 The Economic and Social Council
The Economic and Social Council works to promote international cooperation in economic
and social fields. It comprises 54 members all of whom are elected for a term of three
years by the General Assembly, giving representation to various geographical regions.
Decisions are taken by a simple majority of members present and voting. It considers
international economic, social, cultural and humanitarian problems. The Council has set up
commissions to study and advise on the status of women, population, human rights, etc. It
has the power to coordinate the activities of various specialized agencies like the International
Labour Organisation, the World Health Organisation etc. (which are discussed in a separate
lesson in this book). Another important function of the Council is to bring Non-Governmental
Organizations (NGOs) to take part in its deliberations. The powers of the Council are
quite modest as compared to its responsibilities. By means of study, discussion and
coordination, the Council is expected to promote full employment, higher standards of
living and solution of international economic and social problems.
30.2.4 The Trusteeship Council
The Trusteeship Council was created to supervise the working of the international trusteeship
system. All the 11 territories, originally placed under the trusteeship system have become
Notes
324
Political Science
OPTIONAL MODULE - 1
World Order and
the United Nations
free. Now that there is no trust territory to be administered, the Trusteeship Council has
ceased to play an active role in the UN system and does not hold meetings. The Charter
has to be amended to dissolve this organ.
International trusteeship system was created for administration and supervision of
such territories, which had not attained independence. It replaced the League mandate
system
30.2.5 The International Court of Justice
The International Court of Justice, known as the World Court, located at The Hague (The
Netherlands), is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations. The Court consists of
15 judges, who are elected jointly by the General Assembly and the Security Council for a
term of nine years. Let us not confuse this court with national court like the Supreme
Court of India. Only member nations, not private individuals, can bring cases before the
Court. And the judgements are not binding. So far the Court has handled 72 cases.
30.2.6 The Secretariat
The Secretariat General comprises the international staff posted at the UN headquarters,
New York and other locations throughout the world. They are expected to be impartial and
independent in the discharge of their responsibilities. the United Nations and not any
particular member country. The Chief of the Secretariat is the Secretary General who is
appointed by the General Assembly on the recommendation of the Security Council for a
term of five years. Since the inception of the Organization, six persons have served as the
Secretary–General. They are; Trygve Lie of Norway, Dag Hummarskjold of Sweden
(1953 – 61), U Thant of Myanmar (1961 – 71), Kurt Waldheim of Austria (1972 – 96) and
Javier Perez De Cuellar of Peru (1982 – 91) Boutros Boutros-Ghali of Egypt (1992 – 96)
Kofi Annan from Ghana. Presently, Ban Kimoon of South Korea is occupying this
prestigious office.
Intext Questions 30.2
Fill in the blanks :
1. The permanent members of __________ enjoy the veto power. (all organs of the
UN/the Security Council)
2. How many territories did The Trusteeship Council used to administer? (5/11/15)
3. Which organ of the United Nations performs the function of coordinating the activities
of the specialized agencies? (General Assembly/Security Council/Economic and Social
Council)
4. Private individuals can bring disputes before the World Court. (True/False)
5. _________________ is at present the UN Secretary General . (Kofi Annan/Bam
Kimoon)
6. The judges of the World Court are elected by ________________ (General Assembly/
Security Council/both Security Council and General Assembly)
Notes
325
The United Nations
OPTIONAL MODULE - 1
World Order and
the United Nations
30.3 Fight against Colonialism and Racism
As we know India was a British colony for nearly 200 years before Independence in 1947
India was not alone to come under colonial rule. Most parts of Africa and Asia were not
free in 1945 when the United Nations was set up. For UN, ending colonial rule became
essential for achieving world peace and progress. Freeing millions of people from foreign
colonial rule is a historic achievement of the UN. The UNs anti-colonial territories covered
two categories of dependent population. They were the trust territories for which UN was
directly responsible. Then there were several territories administered by western colonial
powers like Britain, France, etc. ‘Trust’ territories were placed under the responsibility of
the UN until the people of the territories concerned would be able to determine freely their
future status. Cameroon, Nauru, New Guinea, the Pacific Islands, Rwanda-Urundi,
Somaliland, Tanganyika, Togoland were among them. By 1994 all trust territories became
free with the help provided by the UN. Seven have become independent and four chose to
merge with the neighbouring countries. The UN interest in the liberation for subject people
extended beyond trust territories. Its built up this campaign against colonialism was the
adoption of the Declaration of Decolonisation by the General Assembly in 1960, demanding
immediate independence of all colonial territories and populations. Since that time, 60
territories have become free under the sustained pressure built in the UN. Namtria, Eritrea,
East Timor are among the recent examples of successful fight against colonialism. There
are now only very few like western Sahara waiting to exercise their free choice. There is
some confusion that the fight against colonialism blesses the right of some disgruntled
people to separate from their newly formed independent state. Right to ‘self-determination’
applies to people under foreign colonial rule only.
The UN opposition to racism in South Africa known as apartheid-is also remarkable. The
organizations interest in the matter dates back to early 1946. South African white minority
regime did not pay heed to the gentle pleas by the UN. Later pressure was built to force
white South Africa government to end its policy of discrimination against the Black
population. South African teams were passed to participate in international sports events.
The Security Council joined the effort later by banning arms sales. South Africa felt the
heat and agreed to end its policy in 1993. The widely respected black leader, Nelson
Mandela was released after 27 years of imprisonment. The apartheid laws were revoked.
Internationally supervised free elections were held, leading to the installation of a government
under President Mandela in 1994. Soon after wards, the UN revoked all previous
punishments and restored to the new South Africa its rightful place in the world body.
30.4 Promotion of Human Rights
Promotion of human rights culture through world wide human rights standards has been
another major contribution of the United Nations. Nearly 80 declarations and conventions
touching upon various facets of human rights have been adopted by the UN in the past
five decades.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was the first among the UN declarations.
The day of its adoption-10 December 1948 is observed every year as the Human Rights
day. The Declaration contains a broad range of civil, political, economic, social and cultural
rights that all people are entitled to, without any discrimination. Admittedly, the Universal
Declaration, as any declaration, is not binding on governments. However, it gave inspiration
Notes
326
Political Science
OPTIONAL MODULE - 1
World Order and
the United Nations
to the drafting of two legally binding covenants, one on economic, social and cultural rights
and the other on civil and political rights. Both these covenants became applicable to the
signatory states from 1976 onwards. These two covenants, together with the universal
declaration, are known as ‘the International Bill of Rights’.
The covenant on economic, social and cultural rights highlights the right to work in just
condition, the right to adequate standard of living and the right to social protection. The
Covenant on civil and political rights emphasizes freedom of movement, equality before
the law, freedom of religion, freedom of participation in elections, and protection of minority
rights. A specially constituted committee monitors the compliance of the signatory states
to this covenant on HR. A remarkable feature is the UN is empowered under the civil and
political rights covenant to receive and redress complaints from individuals against the
behavior of their own respective governments.
The UN has adopted other declarations and covenants with the aim of stopping the practice
of torture and racial discrimination or protecting vulnerable section like children, women
and migrant workers
The activities of the UN include the convening of periodical conferences on human rights.
Recently, in 1993 the UN organized at Vienna an international conference on Human
rights. Acting upon the recommendations of the conference, the General Assembly appointed
in 1994 the UN high commissioner for HR whose task is to promote more scrupulous
respect for human rights throughout the world.
30.5 Need for Re-Structuring The United Nation
Although the United Nations has done a responsible job there are some obstacles which
limit its performance. For example, a few organs of the United Nations have not changed,
though the changes in the world around require it. Let us look at the Security Council as an
example. Unlike the General Assembly; the permanent membership of the Security Council
is limited to 15 countries only. Out of that, P-5 (China, France, Russia, UK and USA) are
permanent. They were given permanent status in 1945 due to some historical and political
reasons. The remaining ten members are non-permanent members elected by the General
Assembly for a term of two years. This arrangement is six decades old, when most of
Africa and Asian countries were not part of the United Nations. Now with membership of
the world body rising by four times, the council’s composion needs to be suitably changed.
There is a strong case to add a few countries like India as permanent members. The
member of non-permanent members should also be increased so that different countries
can get a feeling that the Council works for their future. The Third World countries are of
the opinion that United Nations is an agent of Western countries especially the United
States. To correct this image, the number of Permanent members has to be increased.
Japan, India, Germany, Brazil and Nigeria are the claimant for it. Japan and Germany are
no longer enemy states and because of their economic strength and contribution to the UN
budget are considered as the most eligible for permanent membership of the Security
Council. India’s contribution in several UN Peacekeeping forces and its active role in
peace making processes facilitates its obvious claim to be a permanent member of the
Council. India has been a founder member of the United Nations. Besides India is the
second largest populous country and is the largest democracy in the world.
Notes
327
The United Nations
OPTIONAL MODULE - 1
World Order and
the United Nations
Intext Questions 30.3
Answer the following questions:
1. The declaration on Decolonisation was adopted in _______ (1945,1960,1995)
2. The UN was responsible for the administration of the trust
territories. (True/False)
3. The native leader of the resistance movement against apartheid in South Africa was
_________________ (Mahatma Gandhi/Nelson Mandela)
4. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is binding on all member countries of
the UN. (True/false)
5. Which day every year is observed as the HR Day? (26 january/10 December /15
August)
6. The two covenants on human rights came into force in __________ (1948/1976/
1997)
7. Which important office was established on the recommendation of the 1993 UN
conference on Human Rights (Ombudsman/High Commissioner for Human Rights).
What You Have Learnt
The United Nations was formed on 24
th
October 1945 with the objective of maintaining
world peace and security. It has six main organs, the General assembly, the Security
Council, the Economic and Social Council, the Secretariat, the Trusteeship Council and
International Court of Justice to achieve its multiple aims and objectives: played a key role
in maintaining world peace. The UN tried to create better conditions for peace by working
for ending colonialism and racism and also its efforts to promote human rights in the world
have brought about encouraging results. Over the years, the UN acquired a moral status.
The UN is engaged in promoting peace and progress through diplomatic and non-violent
means; strong actions like sanctions and use of military force are rare.
The UN has its advantages & limitations too. Yet it remains the unique forum available to
humanity as a whole to pursue the ultimate goal of building a world of peace, prosperity,
equality and justice. Six decades are too short to realize these ideals; but with the support
of the people and governments it can be made more effective to meet the challenges of
the twenty first century.
Terminal Exercises
1. Discuss the purposes and principles of the UN charter
2. Compare and contrast the composition and functions of the General assembly and
the Security Council.
3. Discus the importance of the UN role in the decolonisation effort.
4. Explain the need for restructuring the Scurity Council
Notes
328
Political Science
OPTIONAL MODULE - 1
World Order and
the United Nations
5. Write a short note on the following
(a) UN Secretary General
(b) Universal Declaration of Human Rights
(c) Trusteeship Council
(d) Economic and Social Council
Answers to Intext Questions
30.1
1. San Francisco
2. 51
3. Maintenance of international peace and security
4. True
5. True
6. False
30.2
1. The Security Council
2. 11
3. The Economic and Social Council
4. Bam Ki-moon
5. Both the Security Council and the General Assembly
30.3
1. 1960
2. True
3. Nelson Mandela
4. False
5. 10 December
6. 1976
7. High Commissioner for Human Rights
Hints for Terminal Exercises
1. Refer to Section 30.3
2. Refer to Sections 30.4
Notes
329
The United Nations
OPTIONAL MODULE - 1
World Order and
the United Nations
3. Refer to the first paragraph in Section 30.5
4. Refer to first paragraph in Section 30.8
5. (a) 30.4 (b) 30.8 (c) 30.4 and 30.7 (d) 30.4
Extended Learning
Basic Facts about the United Nations (New York, 1995)
Image and Reality: Question and Answers about the UN (New York 1996)
Glossary
1. Allied Powers
2. League of Nations
3. Charter
Notes
330
Political Science
OPTIONAL MODULE - 1
World Order and
the United Nations
31
UNITED NATIONS’ PEACE
ACTIVITIES
eace is one of the most cherished goals of the nations of the world. Without peace, it is
very difficult to achieve other goals like economic and social progress. Peace became all
the more essential as the wars became very destructive and bloody due to development of
dangerous weapons in the twentieth century. Moreover, a number of countries and their
people are experiencing the negative effects of wars. Hence, leaders of the world joined
hands to prevent war and to manage the peaceful relations among the nations. That is the
reason why the United Nations was created at the end of Second World War. The United
Nations was created to work for peace in all parts of the world. In fact, peace is its top
most aim. United Nations is today the most important organisation dedicated to world
peace. Many organs of the United Nations work for peace. The efforts of Security Council,
the General Assembly and the Secretary General are notable. There have been more than
300 wars after the Second World War. But to the credit of the United Nations, third world
war has not occurred.
Objectives
After studying this lesson, you will able to
identify different ways in which United Nations strives for international peace and
security;
recall the efforts of the United Nations to mediate between countries so that their
problems are peacefully settled;
identify the impact of Cold War in the functioning of the United Nations in regard to
peace and security;
recognise importance of peacekeeping activities of the United Nations;
explain the sanctions imposed by the United Nations as punishment against peace-
violating country;
explain the significance of disarmament efforts of the United Nations.
P
Notes
331
United Nations Peace Activities
OPTIONAL MODULE - 1
World Order and
the United Nations
31.1 Many Types of Activities
The United Nations role towards world peace had many sides to it. Its organs work to
prevent wars from happening. This is done by advising or encouraging countries to maintain
friendliest relations without interfering in each other’s affairs and to settle differences
without using force. For this purpose United Nations has passed several Declarations and
Resolutions. They are not of course binding on member countries, yet they have moral
weight. However, regrettably, countries went to wars. On such occasions the United
Nations worked hard to stop such wars as quickly as possible. For example, when India
and Pakistan fought a war over Jammu and Kashmir in 1947, United Nations successfully
persuaded both countries to stop that war. On the other hand, United Nations activities
recognised need to strengthen conditions of peace through control or elimination of dangerous
weapons. There are four main aspects of the United Nations activities which have made
our world somewhat peaceful. They are : (1) mediation activities to help countries to
reach an agreement, without using armed forces; (2) Peacekeeping activities to keep
warring nations apart and restore peace without firing a shot; (3) Permitting some member
countries to forcibly intervene in a troubled area and restore peace in an area;
(4) Disarmament activities aimed at reducing or totally prohibiting tools of war like landmines,
chemical weapons etc. It is important to learn more about each of these four peace activities
of the United Nations.
31.2 Mediation Activities
The United Nations has played the role of mediator in dozens of conflicts, sometimes
successfully and at other times not so successfully.
Mediation is an activity undertaken by a country or an organization or individual to
help resolve a problem. The mediator is not directly connected to the dispute or
problem. The mediator has to be friendly and impartial with the quarrelling countries.
The mediation starts only when parties to a problem agree. The mediator aims to
bring parties face to face for talks or help them in identifying areas of agreement. It
is a painstaking and skilled job for which United Nations has gained much experience.
The UN Security Council sent mediators in 1950s to solve the Kashmir problem amicably
but the efforts were not fruitful. The Cuban Missile crisis of 1962 is a good example
where the Secretary General U Thant’s mediation helped to avoid direct military
confrontation between the United States and the former Soviet Union. In 1987, United
Nations successfully, mediated to get an accord signed for the withdrawal of Soviet troops
from Afghanistan. Similar mediation was undertaken successfully on Cambodia problem
in 1991. There are nearly two dozen UN mediators presently helping resolution of problems
in Somalia, Cyprus, Western Sahara etc.
The United Nations also helped in fact finding or impartial investigations into border violations,
use of banned weapons, and other complaints. With regards to Arab-Israeli conflict, United
Nations suggested in 1967 an outline for a settlement that recognised the rights of both
Israel and Palestine to live in secure boundaries. At times, the judicial organ, the World
Court also contributed to peace through its judgements on complaints brought before it by
countries. For example in 2003 the Court ruled against Israel’s construction of a wall in
occupied Palestinian territories as illegal and provocative. The General Assembly later
called upon Israel to adhere to the Court’s opinion.
Notes
332
Political Science
OPTIONAL MODULE - 1
World Order and
the United Nations
31.3 Binding Sanctions
The United Nations has always preferred to try first non-binding persuasive methods to
keep peace among nations. It does not mean that United Nations cannot do, or has not
done, any thing in case countries ignore the advice of the United Nations and become a
threat to world peace. As you have already learnt in lesson 30, the Security Council has
the power to impose ‘sanctions’ against a threatening country or government so that peace
is restored without the need for armed/military action. These ‘non-military sanctions’,
when decided by the Security Council are to be compulsorily implemented by all member
countries of the United Nations.
‘Sanctions’ are strong steps taken to isolate and punish a country that becomes a menace
to peace. Sanctions do not mean use of military force. Security Council’s non-military
sanctions could mean cutting off of diplomatic relations between the targeted country and
the rest of the word, curbing sale of arms and ammunition, banning imports and exports of
any and all items like oil, medicines etc., freezing of bank deposits in foreign countries.
These steps are aimed to ensure that the target country stops its objectionable activity.
United Nations has imposed the binding non-military sanctions some 25 times so far. One
of the first cases of such sanctions occurred against South Africa. South Africa refused to
abide by the repeated advice of the international community to end its policy of racial
discrimination against the Blacks, the Indians and coloured people residing in that country.
A compulsory ban on supply of weapons was imposed in 1977 to compel South Africa to
end its policy of racial discrimination. Other methods like banning from international sports
were also used. South Africa finally had to bow to the wishes of the world when it ended
its racial discrimination- apartheid - in 1994. In one of the remarkable instances, United
Nations imposed wide ranging sanctions against Iraq which attacked and occupied
neighbouring Kuwait in 1990. Sale and purchase of oil was prohibited, food and other
essential needs were denied, communication and transport links were cut and accounts in
foreign banks were sealed. These actions had a major impact on Iraq and its people for a
very long time. Similarly United Nations launched sanctions against many terrorist
organisations to deny them any funding. This step was taken after the terrorist attacks
against the United States of American in September 11, 2001. Let us however, remember
that United Nations sanctions against wrong doers have not achieved the desired results
always. It seems terrorists continue to get funds secretly inspite of sanctions.
Intext Questions 31.1
True or False :
1. United Nations is today the most important organisation dedicated to world peace.
(True/False)
2. United Nations declarations and resolutions, urging the member countries to solve the
dispute by peaceful means have binding effect. (True/False)
3. The UN mediator can expect to have little success unless he enjoys the confidence
of all parties. (True/False)
4. In 2003 the International Court of Justice ruled against Israel’s construction of a wall
in occupied Palestinian territories as illegal and provocative. (True/False)
5. The ‘non-military sanctions’ imposed by the Security Council are not compulsorily
implemented by all member countries of the United Nations. (True/False)
Notes
333
United Nations Peace Activities
OPTIONAL MODULE - 1
World Order and
the United Nations
31.4 Authorisation for military action
The goal of world peace is so important for the United Nations that the founders did not
hesitate to empower this organisation to use military force to stop and reverse invasions by
one country against another country. For this purpose, United Nations was to be equipped
with a standing army consisting of troops, contributed by member countries. This
armydesigned to fight aggressor countries under the control of the United Nations and its
Secretary General - could not become a reality. The strong countries like United States
and the then Soviet Union had serious disagreements on the matter. Hence, even after
more than five decades of its existence, the United Nations does not have its own military
force to take military action against an aggressor country. Because of this limitation United
Nations could not take military action against invading countries independently or
automatically.
Moreover due to the cold war between the United States and the former Soviet Union,
the members of the United Nations could not reach to an agreement on identifying the
aggressor. Often, the two cold war rivals which are permanent members of the Security
Council supported the parties to the dispute and prevented action against their allies with
the help of veto power. Thus the Security Council remained deadlocked most of the time
during the cold war. And yet the UN authorised or permitted one or groups of member
countries to take military action on its behalf. Though less than satisfactory, this was a
practical option exercised on occasions such as Korea in 1950.
United Nations authorised military action happened in 1950 after North Korea armed
forces crossed over to South Korea and refused to go back. The United States was willing
and prepared to get militarily involved, along with its allies to defend South Korea, for its
own reasons. The United Nations simply endorsed the American intention and authorised
a military action to push back North Korea from the territory of South Korea. The United
States, using the UN flag, somehow succeeded in restoring South Korea’s freedom from
North Korean invasion.
Nearly forty years later, United Nations got another opportunity to give similar authorisation
to the United States and its allies to use military force to push Iraqi army out of Kuwait.
Thus followed the first Gulf war in 1991. It ended with the defeat of Iraq. It is important to
remember that the US led Gulf war was the first major war in the new era after the cold
war ended.
The end of the US-Soviet cold war was widely expected to help positively the United
Nations activities for peace. Unfortunately, those activities came completely under the
shadow of the United States. United Nations could not act ignoring the preferences and
prejudices of the US which became militarily the strongest country after the cold war. In
the midst of new threats to peace like civil or ethnic wars in Liberia, Somalia, Former
Yugoslavia, United Nations turned to United States or its allies to send troops. On ten
occasions, UN authorised use of force after the first Gulf war. United States was permitted
to lead multinational military forces in Somalia (1992), Bosnia (1993), Haiti (1994) and
Liberia (2003). Besides, Australia and France also got UN permission to send forces to
restore order in East Timor and Rwanda respectively. Nevertheless, many questions have
come up about the wisdom of such military activities. Indeed the fair name of the United
Nations has been affected. Therefore, United Nations is more cautious to allow military
action under its name. The United Nations refused to grant US request for permission to
Notes
334
Political Science
OPTIONAL MODULE - 1
World Order and
the United Nations
wage another war against Iraq in 2003. It is different matter that United States went
ahead with its war plans without having the benefit of UN permission.
31.5 Peacekeeping Activities
Compared to the military authorisations, peacekeeping is a remarkable contribution of the
United Nations towards world peace. This important activity, in fact, was not anticipated
when the United Nations was founded. However, UN tried with this technique right from
its early years. The first UN peacekeeping activity started in 1948 when UN dispatched a
small team of military observers to ensure peace after the first Arab-Israeli war. Since
then, in all there have been 60 peacekeeping operations dispatched by United Nations to
restore or maintain peace in countries located in four continents -Africa, Asia, Europe and
South America. Two such operations restored peace between India and Pakistan.
United Nations Military Observer Groups in India and Pakistan (UNOGIP) was
established in January 1949 after the major conflict between the two countries over
Kashmir issue The observers are continuing to the present time. United Nations
India Pakistan Observation Mission (UNIPOM) was established in September 1965
after the war between India and Pakistan and continued until March 1966.
In UN peacekeeping activity there are some notable turning points. For example, in 1956,
a 6,000 strong force called United Nations Emergency Force could arrange, without firing
a shot, withdrawal of foreign troops from Egypt. In 1960 a much larger peacekeeping
force ensured that a newly independent country remained secure from foreign intervention
and internal disintegration. In 1993, an equally big operation took over administration of
Cambodia and installed democratically elected government there. The end of cold war in
1990 witnessed rapid rise in the number of peacekeeping activities launched. Some were
very successful, while others faced difficulties. The examples of failed peacekeeping
operations were in former Yugoslavia, Somalia and Rwanda. The over all worth of the UN
peacekeeping was demonstrated when in 1988 this activity received Nobel peace prize.
Untied Nations Peacekeeping operations consist of impartial military and civilian
personnel from different countries working under the UN command. Their main job
is to nonviolently stop the warring countries from fighting and help them observe the
cease-fire agreement reached between them. They create an atmosphere for the
warring nations could resolve their differences. Usually they are sent to help control
and resolve conflict between hostile states and sometimes between hostile communities
within a single state. The UN peacekeeping forces carry light arms and are allowed
to use minimum force only if they are attacked.
Intext Questions 31.2
Fill in the blanks :
1. For maintenance of peace and security, United Nations was to be equipped with a
______________ contributed by member countries.
2. The United Nations authorised the ____________ to act military against North
Korea.
3. The United Nations________ to grant US request for permission to wage another war
Notes
335
United Nations Peace Activities
OPTIONAL MODULE - 1
World Order and
the United Nations
against Iraq in 2003.
4. There have been around _______________ peacekeeping operations dispatched
by United Nations to restore or maintain peace in various countries in the world.
5. In 1993, a big operation took over administration of_____________.
31.8 Disarmament Activities
It was thought that the production and stockpiling of weapons of mass destruction would
ensure peace by deterring the opponent. Far from securing peace these weapons have
made the world a dangerous place to live in. Nuclear and other dangerous weapons threaten
the very survival of mankind. If full-fledged nuclear war breaks out, it is not only the
population of the warring countries that would die but also the rest of the population spread
over the globe would suffer. Those who survive the nuclear war would die a slow and
painful death. Thus, the preservation of life on the planet is the first and foremost
consideration for disarmament. Equally important, disarmament offers the possibility of
diverting huge funds from the arms production for improving the living conditions of the
poor and needy people of the world.
Right from the inception, the United Nations has taken active interest in disarmament.
Several disarmament treaties resulted from UN efforts. Some of them are no doubt
controversial. For example Treaty on the Non-proliferation (NPT) of Nuclear Weapons of
1968. This treaty required non-nuclear states not to acquire nuclear weapons, while leaving
the nuclear weapon powers free to increase their stocks. Many countries like India refused
to sign the treaty to protest against the discrimination.
The UN General Assembly convened three special sessions to focus world attention on
the need for disarmament. Those sessions, mobilised world opinion to press reduction of
nuclear and convertional weapons. But no concrete results were evident, because of cold
war tensions.
The ending of the Cold War raised hopes of serious moves to control and reduce nuclear
and other weapons of mass destructions (WMDs). The General Assembly adopted a text
of resolution of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) in September 1996. The
chances of CTBT coming into force are considered remote because many countries,
including India, described it a defective treaty and refused to sign it until the five nuclear
powers had disarmed.
On the positive side, UN efforts in disarmament led to banning of landmines (1997) and
prohibition and destruction of existing stocks of chemical weapons under international
supervision (1993). UN also made progress in actually removing several lakhs of landmines
in Asia and Africa, supervising elimination of existing stocks of chemical weapons. Also
UN played its part in destruction of chemical and biological weapons of Iraq in 1990s.
Intext Questions 31.3
Fill in the blanks :
1. The ———— arms have made the earth a dangerous place to live in.
Notes
336
Political Science
OPTIONAL MODULE - 1
World Order and
the United Nations
2. The preservation of life on the planet is the first and foremost reason behind the need
for—————arms race means diversion of _______________ which could be
used for economic development.
3. Discriminated between nuclear and non-nuclear weapon countries.
4. General Assembly held ____________ special setting on disarmament.
5. UN General Assembly approved The ComprehehensiveTest Ban Treaty (CTBT) in
__________________.
What Have You Learnt
World peace is the top most aim of the United Nations. The United Nations continues to
take up various activities to this end. The United Nations has offered its services as a
mediator in dozens of conflicts, sometimes successfully and other times not so successfully.
The United Nations has always preferred to try first non-binding persuasive methods to
keep peace among nations. It does not mean that United Nations cannot do, or has not
done, any thing in case countries ignore the advice of the United Nations and become a
threat to world peace. The goal of world peace is so important for the United Nations that
the founders did not hesitate to empower this organisation to use military force to stop and
reverse foreign invasions against any member country. More than any other activity of the
United Nations, peacekeeping is a truly remarkable contribution towards world peace.
This important activity, in fact, was not anticipated when the United Nations was founded.
However, UN used with this technique right from the beginning of its existence. Some of
the peacekeeping operations were very successful, while others faced difficulties. Right
from the inception, the United Nations has taken active interest in disarmament. Several
disarmament treaties resulted from UN efforts.
Terminal Exercises
1. What are the four main aspects of the United Nations activities which have made our
world peaceful?
2. Discuss few of the examples of the United Nations mediation.
3. What are the different types of non-military sanctions which are imposed by the
United Nations?
4. Why does the United Nations not have its own military force to carry out its military
action?
5. What is peacekeeping? What for these operations have been sent?
6. Discuss some of the aspects in regard to UN disarmament efforts.
Answers to Intext Questions
31.1
1. True
Notes
337
United Nations Peace Activities
OPTIONAL MODULE - 1
World Order and
the United Nations
2. False
3. True
4. True
5. False
31.2
1. Standing army
2. United States
3. Iraq
4. 60
5. Cambodia
31.3
1. Nuclear
2. Resources
3 Non-proliferation Treaty
4. Three
5. 1996
Hints for Terminal Exercises
1. Refer to Section 31.1
2. Refer to Section 31.2
3. Refer to Section 31.3
4. Refer to Section 31.4
5. Refer to Section 31.5
6. Refer to Section 31.6
Notes
338
Political Science
OPTIONAL MODULE - 1
World Order and
the United Nations
32
UNITED NATIONS AND
ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL
DEVELOPMENT
he UN and its affiliated agencies play an important role in the promotion of international
co-operation in the economic and social fields. The United Nations considered that stable
peace cannot be achieved without economic and social development of all nations. Hence,
much of the UN’s resources are devoted to economic and social activities. Since 1960
economic and social development of the newly independent, poor countries has been the
main preoccupation of the United Nations. Activities in these fields are varied, aimed at
tackling problems like poverty, housing, food and disease which have both economic and
social characteristics and effects.
Objectives
After studying this lesson, you will able to
recall major initiatives of the United Nations for socio-economic development of
developing countries;
identify the network of UN agencies and bodies for development;
recall the activities of various socio-economic development agencies;
appreciate that despite obstacles, UN role goes a long way to help in the developmental
needs of the backward countries.
32.1 Major UN Initiatives for Socio-Economic Development
Given the size and strength of their economics, countries are generally classified as either
developed or developing. The developed countries are located in the North of the equator
in the whole of Europe and North America. These Countries (like the United States,
Canada, Great Britain, France, Germany etc.) have high per capital income, industrial
T
Notes
339
United Nations and Economic and Social Development
OPTIONAL MODULE - 1
World Order and
the United Nations
growth, educational and health sciences, etc. They dominate the world economy. Two-
thirds of three-fourths of the world’s population live in developing countries. Whereas the
developing countries, located in Africa, Asia and South America (the south of the globe)
suffer from deprivation such as widespread poverty, illiteracy, hunger and diseases. In the
developing countries three-fourth of world population lives in these 130 countries, but
individual income levels are extremely low. They suffered for centuries in colonial domination.
Colonial rulers did not show any interest in economic and industrial advancement of the
people of these countries. They exploited the natural resources of developing countries for
their economic benefit.
Starting from 1960, many of the colonies emerged as independent countries and gained
membership of the United Nations. With the help of their growing majority in the United
Nations they were able to create new agencies. The United Nations launched the First
Development Decade. In 1960s international institutions like the UN Development
Programme. UN Industrial Development Organisation, International Development
Association were get up in 1960s.
At the initiative of developing countries United Nations Conference on Trade and
Development (UNCTAD) was formed in 1964 to promote international trade for the benefit
of developing countries. It has served the developing countries in many ways.
UNCTAD has provided significant support to efforts by developing countries to expand
trade and economic cooperation among themselves at the regional and subregional levels.
It has also promoted technical assistance.
In UNCTAD a group of developing countries was formed. This group now consists of 132
countries. It has represented unity and solidarity among developing countries in the
negotiations on economic and trade problems with the developed countries. For example,
it pressed the demand of developing countries for stable prices of primary commodities,
like cotton and coffee exported to markets of advanced countries.
Also UNCTAD made efforts to ensure preferential treatment and tariff concessions in
the developed countries for the items promised by the developing countries, financing of
research and development activities; official development assistance for low-income
countries and debt relief.
The UNCTAD and UN General Assembly went a step further and questioned the unjust
international economic order. To protect the economic interests of the developing counties,
the UN gave a call in 1974 for establishment of a New International Economic Order
(NIEO),welded to the ideals of equity and justice for all nations, rich and poor.
NIEO was founded on the following principles, such as, participation of all countries to
solve world economic problems on the basis of equality; the right of every country to adopt
the economic and social system most appropriate for its own development; full permanent
sovereignty of every state over its natural resources; regulation and supervision of
Multinational Corporations (MNCs) operating in developing countries; just prices of raw
materials and primary commodities and goods exported by developing countries; technical
and financial assistance to developing countries and preferential and non-reciprocal treatment
for developing countries.
The developed countries were unwilling to make radical concessions the NIEO faded
from the collective deliberations and negotiations. The rich countries took advantage of
Notes
340
Political Science
OPTIONAL MODULE - 1
World Order and
the United Nations
diverse economic interests within the Group of 77, putting oil importing countries against
the oil rich countries. and also least developed against the middle income countries like
India and Brazil. By the end of 1970s many developing countries were facing serious
balance of payments problems and were forced to turn to the International Monetary
Fund (IMF) and the World Bank for loan. These institutions are controlled by rich countries.
This gave them the opportunity to exercise considerable influence over economic and
trade policies in the developing world.
Because of the economic crisis, the goals of the Second Development Decade achieved
little compared to the first Decade. United Nations convened a series of International
Conferences to discuss strategies to address economic and social development concern
and plans of action were adopted. Among the most important conferences related to
development are: on Environment and Development, also known as Earth Summit on
Environment and Development (in 1992), Conference on Human Rights (1993), International
Conference on Population and Development (1994), World Summit for Social Development
(1995), World Conference on Women(1995), and the UN City Summit on Human Settlement
(1997).
Besides the UN Secretaries-General also played their part in pushing the cause of economic
and social development of the Third World. In 1994, the former Secretary General, Boutros
Boutros-Ghali, presented a grand vision in “An Agenda for Development.”
At a UN summit in 2000 the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were adopted.
These goals include the elimination of extreme poverty, achieving universal primary education,
improving maternal health and reducing child mortality. The development goals were adopted
unanimously by all UN Member States and set out yardsticks for measuring development
progress by 2015 by curing many of the world’s ills such as poverty, lack of access to
education and health services.
Intext Questions 32.1
Answer the following :
1. First Development Decade was launched by the UN in ____________.
2. The first UNCTAD was held in _____________.
3. The bulk of the UN’s resources is devoted to economic and social development
activities. (True/False)
4. The Group of 77 is a group of rich developed countries. (True/False)
32.2 Network of UN Development Agencies
The United Nations structure for planning, coordinating, administering and implementing
its economic and social programmes is vast and decentralized.
At the apex of the structure are the General Assembly and the Economic and Social
Council (ECOSOC). The General Assembly provides general direction and supervision
for economic and social activities. ECOSOC concentrates solely on this work and has
operated with the assistance of functional commissions. These are the Statistical
Commission, Human Rights Commission, the Commission on the Status of Women, the
Notes
341
United Nations and Economic and Social Development
OPTIONAL MODULE - 1
World Order and
the United Nations
Commission for Social Development, the Commission on Narcotic Drugs.
There are also regional economic commissions, which focus on the problems salient to
their geographical areas. Five such commissions have been established: the Economic
Commission for Europe (ECE); the Economic Commission for Asia and the Pacific
(ESCAP), the Economic Commission for Latin America, the Economic Commission for
Africa (ECA) and the Economic Commission for Western Asia.
A number of other bodies exist in the economic and social field which are not as directly
subject to ECOSOC direction or control but which are closely related to ECOSOC activities.
These agencies include : (1) the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP);
(2) The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF); (3) The
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNCR); (4) The United Nations
Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD); (5) The United Nations Industrial
Development Organization (UNIDO); (6) World Food Programme; (7) The United Nations
Environment Programme (UNEP).
There are Specialized Agencies of the United Nations. Though these agencies are part of
the UN system, they function independently of United Nations organs and are generally
described as autonomous organizations. Each has its own headquarters, constitution, staff
and budget. Each was created in the same manner as the United Nations by an international
conference. Membership of these specialized agencies and membership of the United
Nations is not identical. These agencies are universal in membership. States which are not
UN members can be admitted as the members of the specialized agencies (see box)
Each specialized Agency is an inter-government agency and is established by international
treaty or by an agreement between the agency and the United Nations. This agreement is
negotiated between the agency and ECOSOC subject to approval by the General Assembly.
There are about 15 specialized agencies, which operate in affiliation with the United Nations,
we shall identify and describe the activities of following UN development agencies, such
as UNDP, UNICEF, the World Health Organization (WHO), the United National Educational
Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the World Bank.
32.3 Development Assistance Activities
Established in 1965, UNDP is the leading development agency of the UN system. Developing
countries are more comfortable in working with UNDP. Although UNDP can offer no
finance, it helps the developing countries through training programmes, bringing technical
experts to developing countries etc. In all it spent more than $ 40 billion for various projects.
Some of the ongoing projects recently undertaken are as follows :
Promoting gender equality is a major focus area within the UNDP country programme.
UNDP Food Security Programme in India has addressed the feminization of agriculture
and women’s empowerment for sustainable human development.
UNDP allocated $1.5 million in emergency aid to Palestinian territories.
UNDP in May 2001 announced the establishment of a new UNDP Democratic
Governance Trust Fund to launch programmes in such areas as public sector reform,
improving parliamentary system, conflict prevention and peace-building in the least
developed countries.
Notes
342
Political Science
OPTIONAL MODULE - 1
World Order and
the United Nations
UNDP in partnership with the Indian government initiated in July 2004 a four year
project in Kutch district of the state of Gujarat (a disaster prone area) to promote
productive use of renewable energy.
UNDP supported project on ‘Community Health Financing Initiative’ in India as a
majority of the rural and urban slum population remains outside the health care system
even after 50 years of independence.
On 23 January 2004 UNDP launched a new initiative to provide technology training
in community education centres across the developing world.
32.4 United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund
(UNICEF)
Created in 1946, UNICEF concentrates exclusively on the task of improving the lot of
disadvantaged children.
UNICEF has undertaken projects on health, education, malaria eradication, nutrition, rural
development, family and child welfare and emergency aid to promote child welfare. In
recognition of its social and humanitarian efforts, UNICEF was awarded the Nobel Peace
Prize in 1965. It focuses on India in a very big way.
UNICEF has made an important contribution to a better environment for children in India
and identified the problem of excess flouride in groundwater resources. Rajasthan and
Andhra Pradesh are the most severely affected states.
WHO’s aims are: (i) preventing the spread of disease (ii) curing disease and (iii) preventing
the outbreak of disease. The means adopted to prevent the spread of disease include
Conventions providing international standards for public health. WHO’s has been a clearing
house for scientific knowledge and a exchange of information for curing disease. WHO’s
activity in the area of preventing the outbreak of disease is to facilitate the exchange of
findings and promotion of research. It has encouraged research with cheap preventatives,
especially vaccines for tuberculosis and DDT for malaria. The campaign against malaria
has been one of WHO’s biggest all-out programme. Since heterosexual transmission of
the human immune deficiency virus (HIV) that causes AIDS is becoming the predominant
mode of spread of HIV in most countries of the world, WHO is engaged in research for
vaccine to cure AIDS for which it needs necessary financial support from rich member
countries to meet the challenge of this deadly disease.
A very important WHO programme is Polio Eradication Immunization. Polio is the first
disease of the 21
st
century to be eradicated. Another important campaign of UN health
agency, WHO is against the use of tobacco especially in developing countries.
The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) concentrates on rural development. This
Rome based agency works for alleviation of poverty and hunger by promoting agriculture
development, improved nutrition and easy access of food. The international Labour
Organization (ILO) helps nations in enhancing the living and working standards of industrial
workers. UN Industrial Development Organization strives for industrial development of
developing countries in the era of globalization.
With the end of the Second World War, came the conviction that wars begin in the minds
of men and the ignorance fosters suspicions and hatreds on which wars breed. It was felt
that international collaboration could bring knowledge and greater understanding among
people.
Notes
343
United Nations and Economic and Social Development
OPTIONAL MODULE - 1
World Order and
the United Nations
32.5 The World Bank Group
Some of the programmes of the various UN agencies discussed in the previous section
entail substantial financial contributions to the purpose of development. For example, an
annual budget of approximately 670 million dollars for UNDP is devoted exclusively to
aiding the development process. Capital is a primary component for development.
The most important financial agencies of the United Nation are the International Bank for
Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) or World Bank and the International Monetary
Fund (IMF). These are also called the Bretton Words institutions as these agencies came
into being in December 1945 at the Bretton Woods Conference held in New Hampshire,
USA. IMF provides temporary funds to aid governments in correcting balance of payment
deficits.
The World Bank group is the largest multilateral source of funds for development projects
for infrastructure development. About 300 billion dollars worth of aid has been given so far
for development projects.
However, the World Bank and the IMF are under severe criticism. They are dominated by
rich countries. They are also not accountable to the United Nations. Their composition is
not democratic. Voting in these institutions is not based on the principle of one nation one
vote as in the General Assembly. There is weighted voting i.e. a member country’s number
of votes are as per the amount of financial contribution or shares in these bodies.
World Bank’s loan falls into two broad categories. Investment loans are long-term loans
aimed to create the physical and social infrastructure necessary for poverty reduction and
sustainable development. World Bank loans helped developing countries to construct basic
education schools. Other projects include poverty reduction, rural development, water and
sanitation, natural resource management and health. Investment loans have accounted for
75 to 80 percent of all World Bank lending. Adjustment loans have become an important
component of World Bank lending and are short-term loans to promote the market structures
as well as political institutional reform. During the last 20 years, adjustment loans have
accounted for between 20 and 25 percent of all World Bank lending.
Other important sources of multilateral financing for development include regional banks,
such as the Inter-American Development Bank and the Asian Development Bank, have
been major sources of development financing for hundred of projects within their respective
regions.
Intext Questions 32.2
Fill in the blanks :
1. The main organs of the United Nations which take initiatives for economic and social
activities are ________________and ____________.
2. The headquarters of FAO is in ________________.
3. The regional economic commissions in UN system are part of _________.
4. The Short name of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development is
________________.
Notes
344
Political Science
OPTIONAL MODULE - 1
World Order and
the United Nations
5. Mark the following as True or False:
(i) The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is the main funding
agency for development projects and programmes. (True/False)
(ii) The fullform of IMF is Indian Money Fund (True/False)
(iii) The World Bank helps the developing countries to correct balance of payments
deficits. (True/False)
What You Have Learnt
The United Nations has come up with major initiatives not only for the maintenance of
international peace and security but also for the economic and social development of the
developing countries. The General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council, the UN
Secretariat coordinate the various activities and programmes for the promotion of economic
and social development. The United Nations is the main instrument of multilateral aid for
tackling development problems. Various UN development agencies such as UNDP,
UNICEF, WHO, the World Bank raise and contribute funds and assist for development
programmes and projects.
Terminal Exercises
1. Describe the structure of the United Nations for the economic and social development
activities.
2. What are the major initiatives of the United Nations for the promotion of economic
and social development?
3. Describe the functions of the World Bank as the main UN financial agency for
development.
4. Explain the working of the United Nations Development programme (UNDP).
5. Describe the role of UNICEF in promoting the welfare of children.
Answers to Intext Questions
32.1
1. 1960
2. 1964
3. True
4. False
32.2
1. The General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council.
2. Rome
Notes
345
United Nations and Economic and Social Development
OPTIONAL MODULE - 1
World Order and
the United Nations
3. Economic and Social Council
4. World Bank
5. (i) False
(ii) False
(iii) False
Hints for Terminal Exercises
1. Refer to Section 32.1
2. Refer to Section 32.2
3. Refer to Section 32.5
4. Refer to Section 32.3
5. Refer to Section 32.4
Notes
346
Political Science
OPTIONAL MODULE - 2
Administrative System
in India
33
PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSIONS
he civil servants occupy an important role in the successful administration of state at
different levels. Therefore, their recruitment, training, emoluments, conditions of service,
promotion policies, etc. assume importance. For an impartial consideration of these matters
relating to civil servants, an independent and expert authority is required which is known
as the institution of public service commission.
One of the important features of our Constitution is the inclusion of Public Service
Commission at both Union and State levels in the Constitution itself.
While UPSC and SPSC are constitutional bodies, a joint public service commission is
created by an Act of Parliament.
Objectives
After completing this lesson, you will be able to
explain the necessity of an independent agency to recruit civil servants;
describe the composition of the UPSC;
explain the functions of the UPSC;
explain the composition of State Public Service Commission;
identify functions of State Public Service Commission;
recall the constitutional provision for the Joint Public Service Commission;
discuss the constitutional provisions relating to independence of Public Service
Commission.
33.1 The Need of an Independent Agency
Recruitment of civil servants has to be neutral, unbiased and free from prejudices of any
kind. Then alone any merit system will inspire confidence. To ensure objectivity and
impartiality in recruitment, several measures have been taken. The constitution of an
T
Notes
347
Public Service Commission
OPTIONAL MODULE - 2
Administrative System
in India
independent agency in the form of a public service commission for recruitment is one.
Through this agency :
(i) the executive branch has been divested of the power of making recruitment to the
superior levels of civil services.
(ii) the agency thus created is an extra-departmental body such as a commission, which
functions outside the normal machinery of government.
(iii) a special constitutional status is conferred on this agency to ensure autonomous
functioning.
It must be remembered that the commission is only a recruiting agency, and not an appointing
authority. The authority of making appointments rests with the government. The commission
is an advisory and recommendatory body. Its decisions are not mandatory. Normally,
government accepts its recommendations, but government may not always accept what
the commission suggests. However, in such cases the reasons for not accepting the
recommendations have to be explained and recorded.
Intext Questions 33.1
1. Tick ( ) mark the correct answer :
(i) The administrative machinery of the government is run by –
(a) Elected representatives
(b) Ministers
(c) Civil servants
(d) People of India
(ii) An independent constitutional agency to recruit civil servants is known as :
(a) Staff Selection Board
(b) Election Commission
(c) Planning Commission
(d) Public Service Commission
(iii) An independent agency for recruitment of civil servants is required because :
(a) it maintains the merit system and neutrality in civil services.
(b) it protects the rights of the people.
(c) it serves the aspiration of the ministers.
(d) it is an appointing authority of the civil servants.
33.2 Why A Commission Type of Organisation?
The constitution provided a commission as distinct from the customary departmental type
for undertaking the task of recruitment of civil servants. The fathers of the constitution
Notes
348
Political Science
OPTIONAL MODULE - 2
Administrative System
in India
were perhaps guided in their decision by the fact that the task requires experts and longer
specialized knowledge also and that facilitates collective deliberation by a group of experts
who are able to pool their knowledge and experience to arrive at informed and objective
decisions. Such a method of making decisions collectively is described as corporate mode
of functioning or decision making.
Further a plural body like public service commission consisting of experts in parts professional
and technical weightage in the process of decision making. When several heads combine
for deliberations, biases are eliminated and objectivity is ensured. A commission functions
outside the normal governmental machinery, hence greater flexibility and innovativeness
of approach is possible. Bureaucratic rigidities and delays, which characterize government
departments can thus be avoided.
33.3 Significance of A Constitutional Status for The Commission
The constitutional status is intended to ensure the Commission to function without fear or
favour. This can be facilitated when its composition, role and authority, privileges of its
members, method of appointment and removal of members, qualifications for appointment
and ground for removal etc. are constitutionally protected. The Commission can function
without being influenced by political or other extraneous consideration. Confirment of
constitutional status is, thus, meant to provide safeguards against any possible encroachment
on the authority and independence of the commission either by the excutive or the legislature.
33.4 Composition of Union Public Service Commission
For the purpose of the higher level civil services of the Union Government, the Constitution
provides for the setting up of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). The number
of members of the Commission and the conditions of their service are left to be determined
by the President, which means the government. It has since been decided that there shall
be a chairman and six to eight members of the Commission. At present the strength of the
Commission is nine including the chairman. The chairman and the members of the
Commission are appointed by the President. The Constitution provides that at least half
the members have to be persons who have served for at least ten years under the
Government of India or a State Government.
A member holds office for a term of six years from the date he joins duty or until he attains
the age of sixty five years, whichever is earlier. The Chairman is ineligible for any future
employment under the government, but other members are entitled to accept the
chairmanship of the UPSC or of a State Public Service Commission.
The conditions of service of members cannot be changed to their disadvantage after
appointment. Their salaries, allowances, etc. are not submitted to the vote of Parliament
as they are charged on the Consolidated Fund of India.
It is also provided that the chairman or a member of the Commission can be removed from
office by the President on the ground of misbehaviour. It is only after an inquiry by Supreme
Court, on a reference being made to it by the President. Pending the inquiry by the Court,
the President may suspend the member concerned. A member including the chairman
would be deemed guilty of misbehaviour if he becomes interested in any monetary benefit
in the discharge of duties as a member. It is also provided that the President may remove
Notes
349
Public Service Commission
OPTIONAL MODULE - 2
Administrative System
in India
the chairman or any other member from office, on the ground of insolvency, infirmity of
mind or body, or if he is engaged during the term of office in any paid employment outside
the duties of his office.
Intext Questions 33.2
1. Tick ( ) mark the correct answer:
(i) Public Service Commission is a
(a) constitutional body
(b) statutory body
(c) body setup by an executive decision
(d) none of these
(ii) Public Service Commission works as
(a) a recruiting agency
(b) an appointing authority
(c) an advisory body on all government appointments
(d) none of these
(iii) The chairman and the members of the UPSC can be removed from their post by the
(a) Council of Ministers
(b) President
(c) Prime Minister
(d) Supreme Court
33.5 Functions of Union Public Service Commission
The functions of the UPSC as described in the Constitution are :
(i) To advise the government on all matters relating to the methods of recruitment and
norms to be followed in making apointments to civil services either directly or by
promotion.
(ii) To advise on the suitability of candidates for appointment, promotion and transfer.
(iii) To conduct examinations for appointment to All India services.
(iv) To advise on disciplinary matters affecting government servants.
(v) To advise on claims of legal proceedings instituted against a government servant and
on the claims in respect of injuries sustained by a government servant while on duty.
(vi) To advise on any other matter specifically referred by the President.
Notes
350
Political Science
OPTIONAL MODULE - 2
Administrative System
in India
There is also a provision for extending the functions of the Commission by Parliament not
only in respect of government services but also in respect of services under local authorities,
corporations or other public institutions.
The jurisdiction of the Commission can be reduced by taking away some posts from its
purview. For example, the Commission is not consulted in regard to selections for the
folowing appointments:
(i) membership or chairmanship of tribunals or commissions
(ii) posts of high diplomatic nature
(iii) Group C and Group D employees who constitute nearly 90% of the total number of
the Central Government employees.
The Commission is consulted in matters of censure, compulsory, retirement, removal or
dismissal from service, seduction to lower same grade or post or scale, with holding of
increments or promotion, recovery of the whole or part of any loss caused to the government
by negligence or branch of order. Moreover, the Commission is also consulted in relation
to an order of the President on an appeal against any of the above penalties made by a
subordinate authority after consideration of any petition or memorandum or otherwise.
The Commission also tenders advice to government on methods of recruitment, and the
principle to be followed in making appointments, promotions and transfers from one service
to another and the suitability of candidates for such appointments, promotions or transfers.
It is the duty of the Commission to present annually to the President a report as to the
work done by the Commission.The report along with the memorandum explaining the
action taken by the government on the recommendations of the Commission, is placed
before the Parliament. Government, thus, becomes responsible to explain the reasons in
case it has not accepted the recommendations of the commission.
Intext Questions 33.3
1. Tick ( ) mark the correct answer:
(i) It is the duty of the President of India to place the annual report of UPSC before :
(a) Supreme Court of India
(b) Parliament
(c) Comptroller and Auditor General of India
(d) Council of Ministers
(ii) Under article 321 of the Indian Constitution additional functions to the Union Public
Service Commission can be assigned by the :
(a) President
(b) Prime Minister
(c) Parliament
(d) Supreme Court
Notes
351
Public Service Commission
OPTIONAL MODULE - 2
Administrative System
in India
33.6 Composition of State Public Service Commission
Each state in India has a public service commission. The Constitution stipulates that the
Governor determines the number of members of the Commission. At least half of the
members of Commission are persons with a minimum of ten years of experience under
the central or a state government. Members are appointed by the Governor for a term of
six years or until the age of 62 years. Though the Governor is the appointing authority but
members can be removed only by the President. Conditions of service of the members are
determined by the Governor but the Constitution stipulates that these shall not be revised
to their disadvantage. Implicit in the foregoing are certain safeguards to ensure the
Commission’s independence.
A member of a state public service commission on retirement or otherwise can be appointed
as chairman or member of UPSC, or as chairman of that or any other state service
commission.
As in the case of UPSC, the state public service commission submits its annual report to
the Governor. The Governor goes through the report to be placed before the state legislature
along with the cases in which the government has not accepted the advice of the
Commission. In such cases the government has to record the reasons for non-acceptance
or rejection of the recommendations.
The state public service commission performs the same functions in regard to its respective
states public services as are performed by the Union Public Service Commission in regard
to the Union Government.
33.7 A Joint Public Service Commission
Two or more states may agree that there should be one public service commission for
them. If a resolution to that effect is passed by the House or by each house of legislature
(where there are two houses) of the respective states. Parliament may by law provide for
the appointment of a Joint State Public Service Commission to serve the needs of those
states.
The chairman and other members of this joint commission are also appointed by the
President.
33.8 Independence of Public Service Commission
The following constitutional provisions are intended to make the commission, both UPSC
and SPSC, independent of any external influence :
1. Members are appointed for a fixed tenure of six years or until the attainment of sixty-
five years of age in the case of UPSC, and sixty-two years in the case of SPSC.
2. The conditions of service of a member cannot be changed to his/her disadvantage
during his tenure of office.
3. The removal of a member can take place by an order of the President on certain
epecific grounds in consultation of the Supreme Court.
4. The expenses of the commission are charged on the Consolidated Fund of India.
Notes
352
Political Science
OPTIONAL MODULE - 2
Administrative System
in India
5. All regulations to be issued by the government excluding any matter from the purview
of the commission will have to be laid before the Parliament or the state legislature
for such modification as it may deem fit to make.
6. Further employment of any member is severely restricted.
Intext Questions 33.4
1. Tick ( ) mark the correct answer:
(i) The age limit up to which a member of state PSC may hold his post is :
(a) 60 years
(b) 62 years
(c) 63 years
(d) 64 years
(ii) The tenure of a member of SPSC is :
(a) 4 years
(b) 5 years
(c) 6 years
(d) 7 years
(iii) The chairman of the Joint Public Service Commission is appointed by the :
(a) President
(b) Governor
(c) Prime Minister
(d) Supreme Court
What You Have Learnt
1. In this lesson you have studied that there are independent and expert bodies called
Public Service Commission which recruit the civil servants and advise the government
about their appointment, promotion and transfer.
2. Union Public Service Commission, State Public Service Commission and a Joint Public
Service Commission are the three categories of Public Service Commission.
3. The chairman and the members of the UPSC are appointed by the President.
4. State Public Service Commission members are appointed by the Governor of the
state concerned.
5. In the Constitution adequate provisions have been made to ensure independence of
public service commisson.
Notes
353
Public Service Commission
OPTIONAL MODULE - 2
Administrative System
in India
6. These commissions in general have proved to be quite useful in maintaining impartiality
and objectivity in the recruitment of civil servants, particularly at the higher level.
Terminal Exercises
1. Describe the need for an independent agency to recruit civil servants.
2. Explain the composition and functions of The Union Public Service Commission.
3. How are the chairman and the other members of the UPSC and the State Public
Service Commission appointed and what are their qualifications?
4. How does the Constitution of India ensure independence of the Public Service
Commissions?
Answers to Intext Questions
33.1
1. c
2. d
3. a
33.2
1. a
2. a
3. b
33.3
1. b
2. c
33.4
1. b
2. c
3. a
Hints for Terminal Exercises
1. Refer to Section 33.1
2. Refer to Sections 33.4 and 33.5
3. Refer to Section 33.6
4. Refer to Section 33.8
Notes
354
Political Science
OPTIONAL MODULE - 2
Administrative System
in India
34
ADMINISTRATIVE MACHINERY
AT THE CENTRE, STATES AND
DISTRICT LEVELS
ndia has adopted a federal form where there is a clear demarcation of subjects and
powers between the central government, i.e. government of the union and the state
governments. It is a federation but with a distinction. Though, federations have two-tier
governing arrangement but India has created a third structure of governance. Since 1992
when the country enacted the 73
rd
and 74
th
amendments of the Constitution. Since then
local government in India – both rural and urban – has been included in the constitution. It
is a bold measure of empowerment of local government. Today, there are twenty eight
states and seven centrally administered territories. Study of Indian administration is a
study among other things of the structures at the district,local and the central levels. The
most influential level among these, continues to be of the central government which
determines to a great extent, the role and responsibilities of other organs. The purpose of
this lesson is to describe the administrative machinery at the Cental, states and district
levels. There is no mention of the machinery of the government or the term like the
Secretariat in the Constitution. There is simply a provision which empowers the President
of India to make rules for the transaction of business.
Objectives
After studying this lesson, you will be able to
explain administrative machinery at the Centre, State and District levels;
identify at the Centre level the important administrative organizations are the Central
Secretariat comprising Ministries, Departments and independent agencies – Boards
and Commissions, the Cabinet Secretariat and the Prime Minister’s Office;
learn about the structure of administration at the state level is mainly the State Secretariat/
and the office of the Chief Secretary;
I
Notes
355
Administrative Machinery at The Centre, States and District Levels
OPTIONAL MODULE - 2
Administrative System
in India
explain district administration: the office of the District Collector, his position and
changing role in the district, Sub – Divisional Officer and Block Development Officer,
their functions.
Intext Questions 34.1
Fill in the blanks :
a. In a federal form there is a clear division of subjects between the ____________
and the ____________.
b. Today India is composed of ____________ states and __________ union territories.
c. Indian administrative system is to be studied mainly at ____________ , __________,
____________ and ____________ levels.
d. The district and local administration has assumed more importance after ________
and ____________ constitutional amendments.
34.1 Central Secretariat
The work of the government of India is divided into ministries and departments which
together constitute the Central Secretariat. Administrative Machinery at the Central Level:
central secretatiat may be defined as a common name for all the ministeries and departments
of the central government. The political head of the ministry is the minister and administrative
head is the Secretary. The department is centre of two or more wings. A wing consists of
two or more divisions and a division consists of two or more branches. At the lowest level
is the office which may consist of a number of secretariats. A ministry may be composed
of one department or more than one department. The main function of the secretariat is to
advise the minister concerned in matters of policy and administration. Each minister is
aided by the secretariat staff. The hierarchical position of the staff members is given in
following chart :
Wing
Division
Branches
Organisation Chart of the Secretariat
Head Minister (political executive)
Secretary(Administrative Head)
Addl./Jt. Secretary
Dy. Secretary
Under Secretary
Ministry
Department
Notes
356
Political Science
OPTIONAL MODULE - 2
Administrative System
in India
The three essential components of the govt. at the centre are: the minister who decides
upon policy, the secretary who provides material and advice to reach such decisions and to
oversee the implementation of decisions, and the executive head, who carries the decisions
into effect. The secretaries are secretaries to the union government as a whole but not to
any particular minister. The secretariat is a policy forming, coordinating and supervising
agency of the government. The secretariat’s primary responsibility is to assist and advise
the ministers in respect to the following matters :
1. Making and modifying policies from time to time.
2. Forming legislation rules and regulations.
3. Sectoral planning and programme formulation,
4. Budgeting and control of expenditure,
5. Supervision and control over execution of policies and programmes by field agencies
and evaluation of results,
6. Coordination and integration of policies and programmes, contact with state
governments.
7. Developing greater organizational competence, and
8. Assisting the minister in discharge of his parliamentary responsibilities.
Secretariat is to assist and advise the political executive in policy making. However, the
secretariat has come to be criticized on various grounds which may be stated as follows:
it takes upon itself a number of field functions; it tends to indulge in empire building; over
a period of time the secretariat has turned into an over grown institution and over staffing
is apparent in many areas; secretaries very often tend to take a superior attitude vis-à-vis
the field agencies. With the increase of a number of departments in the secretariat,
coordination has become the real problem.
Lack of adequate delegation of work to executive agencies, cumbersome procedures of
doing work, widespread desire to postpone decisions to over-consult, to over-coordinate,
etc. all lead to delay in the work of the Secretariat. These faults lie not with the concept of
the secretariat but with the manner in which it has been functioning.
Intext Questions 34.2
Give the following answers :
a. Central Secretariat is composed of all ______ and _______ .
b. What is the main function of the Secretariat?
(i) To assist in policy making, (ii) To implement the policies.
c. Who is the administrative head of the secretariat?
d. The Secretariat works as a ______ unit with ______ responsibility.
Notes
357
Administrative Machinery at The Centre, States and District Levels
OPTIONAL MODULE - 2
Administrative System
in India
34.2 Cabinet Secretariat
Organization of the Cabinet Secretariat
The Cabinet Secretariat was created in 1947, another administrative machinery of the
centre is Cabinet Secretariat, it can be understood in terms of organisation and function. It
is headed politically, by the Prime Minister and administratively, by the Cabinet Secretary.
Today, the Cabinet Secretariat has three wings – Civil Wing, Military Wing and Intelligence
Wing. In 1988, the Directorate of Public Grievances was set up as its organ.
The Cabinet Secretariat has subject related advisors to the Prime Minister.
The Cabinet Secretariat performs a number of functions.
The function of the Cabinet Secretariat is to provide secretarial assistance to the cabinet
and its various committees and make preparations them for the meetings of the cabinet,
providing information and material necessary for its deliberations; it keeps a record of the
discussions and decision of the cabinet. Besides, circulation of memorandum on issues
awaiting cabinet approval and circulation of the cabinet decisions to all the ministries and
preparation and submission of monthly summaries on a large number of specified subjects
to the cabinet are also the functions of the Cabinet Secretariat. It also oversees the
implementation of the cabinet decisions by the concerned ministries and other executive
agencies. For this purpose, it can call for information from the various ministries /
departments. In accordance with the instructions issued by the cabinet secretariat, each
ministry sends it a monthly statement showing the progress in the cases relating to cabinet
decisions.
The next important role of the cabinet secretariat is that of functioning as the prime
coordinating agency in the government of India. Several cases are brought before the
cabinet secretariat involving the President, the Prime Minister, various ministries and the
Parliament, on which it provides aid, advice and assistance.
34.2.1 Main Functions of Cabinet Secretariat
Cases involving Legislation including the issuing of ordinances. Addresses and
messages of the President to the Parliament.
Cases involving negotiation with foreign countries on treaties and agreements etc.
Proposals for sending delegations of persons abroad in any capacity.
Proposals to appoint public committees of enquiry and consideration of reports of
such enquiries.
Cases involving financial implications.
Cases which a minister puts to the cabinet for decision and directions. Cases of
disagreements among ministries.
Proposals to vary or reverse decisions.
Cases which the President or the Prime Minister may require to be put before the
cabinet.
Proposals to withdraw prosecutions instituted by the government.
Notes
358
Political Science
OPTIONAL MODULE - 2
Administrative System
in India
Intext Questions 34.3
Answer the following questions :
1. Which of the following is not a Wing of Cabinet Secretariat?
a. Civil Wing
b. Military Wing
c. Administrative Wing
d. Intelligence Wing
2. Describe the organization of the Cabinet Secretariat.
3. In which year the Cabinet Secretariat was established?
a. 1947
b. 1961
34.3 Cabinet Secretary
Cabinet Secretary as stated earlier, is the administrative head of the cabinet Secretariat.
The office of Cabinet Secretary was created in 1950. The Cabinet Secretary functions
under the leadership of the Prime Minister who is its minister in charge at the political
level. He is drawn from the Senior most officers of the Indian Administrative Services. It
is expected that he should be a man of rich administrative experience.
Although the chief function of the Cabinet Secretary is to provide assistance to the council
of ministers, infact , he deals primarily with cabinet affairs. For this purpose, though, he
keeps contact with the various ministers, he keeps a close touch with the secretaries
incharge of different ministries / departments. He is also the head of the civil service and
ensures that the moral of the civil servants remain high. He has to act as a buffer between
the politicians and the civil servants and protect the interest of the latter in situations of
conflict between the two. It is a dream-post for every bureaucrat. Eminent civil servants
have occupied this post e.g. Naresh Chandra, B.G. Deshmukh, T.N. Seshan etc.
In the meetings of the cabinet, the Cabinet Secretary draws up the minutes which contain
the decisions reached. After the Prime Ministers approval these are circulated by him to
the ministers and the secretaries concerned. He has to maintain complete secrecy about
these matters. The Cabinet Secretary is to ensure that the decisions of the cabinet are
implemented properly. He maintains a close proximity with the Prime Minister. He advises
the Prime Minister on whatever matter his advice is sought. One important function of the
Cabinet Secretary is to preside over the meetings of the Committee of Secretaries on
administration which is set up to resolve inter ministerial disputes. He also presides over
the Chief Secretaries conferences.
In relation to the Prime Minister and the country as a whole, the Cabinet Secretary has yet
another role to play. Like all civil servants, he provides the element of stability and continuity
when a Prime Minister resigns or dies. A care taker Prime Minister and a Ministry does
exist in the interim period, but it is at this time that the services of the Cabinet Secretary
are of immense value. He is the chief coordinator of Central Government.
Notes
359
Administrative Machinery at The Centre, States and District Levels
OPTIONAL MODULE - 2
Administrative System
in India
The Cabinet Secretary provides the eyes and ears for the Prime Minister to keep in touch
with the process of official business in the Central Government.
Intext Questions 34.4
Fill in the blanks :
1. The chief function of the Cabinet Secretary is to provide the assistance to the
_____________________.
2. The office of __________was created in 1950.
3. Cabinet Secretary has to maintain complete ___________about these matters.
4. He adivses the _________on whatever matter his advice is sought.
34.4 Prime Minister’s Office
The Prime Minister as the head of the government and the real executive authority, plays
a very significant and crucial role in the politico- administrative system of the country. In
the fulfillment of his various responsibilities he is assisted by the Prime Minister’s Office
(PMO). It provides secretarial assistance and crucial advice to the Prime Minister. He
plays an important role in the process of decision making at the top level in the government
of India. However, it is an extra constitutional body. It has a status of a department of the
government of India, though there are no attached and subordinate office under it. It came
into existence in August, 1947 when India emerged as an independent nation and was
called the Prime Ministers Secretariat. In June 1977 its name was changed and now it is
known as Prime Minister’s Office(PMO).
34.4.1 Composition
PMO is headed politically by the Prime Minister and administratively by the principal
secretary. It consists of some additional secretaries and joint secretaries.
The Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister(PM) plays an important role and performs
the following functions :
1. Deals with all governmental files in the office.
2. Puts before the Prime Minister(PM) all important documents and information for
orders and instructions.
3. Prepares notes on matters to be discussed by the PM with important dignitaries.
4. On the directions of the PM looks after the affairs of different ministries and
departments.
5. Coordinates the activities of various personnel in the office.
The PMO performs several other functions such as:- Maintaining liaison with central
ministries and the state governmentts, help the PM in discharging his responsibilities as
chairman of the Planning Commission and the National Development Council acts as the
public relations agency of the PM and is considered as the ‘think-tank’* of the PM. It
also deals with all such subjects which are not allotted to any ministry or department.
Think-tank - Group of experts studying and solving problems.
Notes
360
Political Science
OPTIONAL MODULE - 2
Administrative System
in India
Over the years, it has grown very big and powerful. At present, the PMO has over 350
people under its roof. This large establishment runs as a ‘parallel’ administration, i.e.,
every ministry department of the central government is duplicated here. The critics have
described the PMO variously as ‘super cabinet’, ‘micro cabinet’, ‘super secretariat’, ‘the
government of India’ and so on. PMO has specially been strengthened during Smt. Indira
Gandhi and Sri Rajiv Gandhi’s time and continues to be so till today.
Intext Questions 34.5
Fill in the blanks :
1. Prime Minister’s office provides_________and ________advice to the Prime
Minister.
2. In 1977 Prime Minister Secretariat name was changed and now it is known
as________________.
3. The ___________ to the Prime Minister plays an important role.
4. At present, the Prime Minister’s Office has over_________ people under its roof.
34.5 State Secretariat
Like the Central Secretariat, there is a state secretariat at the level of each state. It is the
nerve center of state administration. It consists of several ministries and departments of
state government. The Ministries, departments are headed politically by the ministers and
administratively by the secretaries. The chief secretary is the head of the entire state
secretariat, while, a secretary is head of one or two departments. He is usually a senior
IAS officer. Here, it should be noted that the secretary is a secretary to the state government
as a whole and not to the individual minister concern.
34.5.1 Organisation
The number of secretariat departments vary from state to state. It ranges from 15 to 35
departments. There are certain departments which are found common to all the states.
These are mainly General Administration, Home, Finance, Jail, Forest, Agriculture, Labour
and Employment, Panchayati Raj, Public Works, Education, Planning, Social Welfare,
Housing, Transport, Irrigation and Power, Law, local government, Health, Excise and
Taxation, Industries, Publicity and Informations unclear etc.
Secretariat department consists of officers who are appointed for a fixed tenure. The
hierarchy of the secretariat officers is similar to the Central Secretariat.
34.5.2 Functions
The State Secretariat performs mainly the following functions:
To assist the Minister in the fulfilment of his task.
To formulate the policies and programmes of the state government.
To coordinate amongst the programmes of the state government.
Notes
361
Administrative Machinery at The Centre, States and District Levels
OPTIONAL MODULE - 2
Administrative System
in India
To prepare the state budget.
To frame legislation, rules and regulations.
To review the results of the execution of the policy.
To maintain contacts with Central and other State governments.
To receive the complaints, representations and appeals from the people and solve
them.
To serve as a think-tank of the state government.
34.5.3 Chief Secretary
Chief Secretary is the head of the state secretariat. He is the administrative head of the
state administration, and stands at the apex of the state administrative machinery. He
leads, guides and controls the entire state administration. He is, infact, chief of the secretaries
and his control extends to all the secretariat departments. He is the senior most civil
servant in the state.
34.5.4 Powers and Functions
Chief Secretary discharges a number of functions. Some major functions are as follows:
1. He acts as the principal advisor to the Chief Minister on all matters of state policies
and administration.
2. He acts as the secretary to the State Cabinet. He prepares agenda for cabinet meetings
and keeps records of its proceedings.
3. He is the chief co-ordinator of state administration and resolves inter departmental
disputes.
4. In most of the cases, the general administration department, Personnel department,
Planning department and Administrative Reform department are directly placed under
the charge of the chief secretary.
5. In times of crises like drought, floods, famine, communal disturbances etc., the chief
secretary plays the role of crises administrator.
6. Besides, he acts as a spokesman of the state government; principal channel of
communication between his government and the central government on the one hand
and the state governments on the other. He acts as the chief advisor to the Governor
when President’s Rule is imposed in the state, attends the meetings of the National
Development Council and he also acts as the chief public relations officer of the state
government.
7. He also acts as the head of the State civil service. He deals with all cases related to
appointment, transfers and promotion of senior state civil servants.
Intext Questions 34.6
Give answers of following questions :
1. What is the correct ascending order of the following officers in the Secretariat ?
Notes
362
Political Science
OPTIONAL MODULE - 2
Administrative System
in India
a. Joint Secretary
b. Deputy Secretary
c. Additional Secretary
d. Secretary
e. Under Secretary
f. Section Officer
2. Secretariat is the nerve center of ________________.
3. The two main functions of State secretariat________and__________.
4. Chief Secretary stands at the _________of the state administrative machinery.
34.6 District Administration
The minister, the secretary and the executive head are the three components of the
government at the state level. The minister and the secretary together constitute what is
popularly known as the secretariat. The office of the executive head, on the other hand, is
termed as the directorate. The directorates function under the state secretariat. A secretariat
is concerned with policy making, while a directorate is concerned with policy execution.
Thus, directorates are the executive arm of the government. Their duty is to translate into
action the policies which are framed by the secretariat. The directorates are located outside
the secretariat.
The functions of the Head of the Directorate are :
1. To provide technical advice to the Ministers.
2. To prepare the budget of the department.
3. To inspect implementation of work by the departmental district staff.
4. To render advice to the State Public Service Commission regarding promotions and
disciplinary actions.
5. To organize in service training programmes for departmental officers.
Besides, Directorates constantly try to improve the efficiency in the implementation of the
departmental programmes.
34.7 District Administration
District has been the basic unit of administration in India since ancient times. In India, we
have a democratic welfare state which involves wide scope of activities for the development
of the people and the nation as a whole. District administration, is that part of public
administration which functions in the territorial limits of the district. According to S.S.
Khera, “District administration is the total functioning of government”. It continues to be
the hub of Indian administration. With the introduction of planning and development functions
the role of district administration has increased tremendously to build the country from
Notes
363
Administrative Machinery at The Centre, States and District Levels
OPTIONAL MODULE - 2
Administrative System
in India
below. The introduction of democratic decentralization and Panchayati Raj has fundamentally
changed the nature of the district administration.
The government at the centre and the state level cannot implement its policies directly
from the head quarters. Therefore, the state is divided into territorial divisions and districts.
The actual work of the government is carried out at the district level. People tend to judge
the performance of the government by the way the programmes are actually administered
in the district. The people come into direct contact with the administration at the district
level more than the state or central level.
Certain points are important to know the role of district administration. The major concern
of the district administration is to ensure public safety, the protection of the citizens and all
their rights. It includes the maintenance of law and order and the administration of criminal
and civil justice.
Secondly, its importance is in the field of revenue administration. It includes land revenue,
irrigation charges, agricultural income, tax levied, excise duties, entertainment tax etc. It
also includes the administration of treasury, land reforms, land acquisition, land management,
land records etc.
The government has introduced a number of developmental policies and programmes in
the field of agriculture, cooperation and industry. Special programmes have been launched
to develop the weaker sections of the society. All these welfare programmes are
implemented by the district administration vigorously to the satisfaction of the people. To
ensure people’s participation in the planning and excution of development schemes is
another important role of district administration. It also ensures the supply of essential
commodities to the people living in remote villages.
In times of natural calamities and disasters the district administration helps the people.
Intext Questions 34.7
Answers the following questions :
1. Which of the following statements is true?
a. It is at the district level that the common man comes into direct contact with the
administration. (True/False)
b. The District Collector acts as the eyes, nose and arms of the State Government.
(True/False)
2. Which of the following statements is false ?
a. District has been the basic territorial unit of administration in India.
(True/False)
b. A district is defined as a sufficiently large territory with an overall unity, having
common historical, geographical, social and economic conditions.
(True/False)
3. District administration is the total functioning of the ______ .
Notes
364
Political Science
OPTIONAL MODULE - 2
Administrative System
in India
34.8 The District Collector
A district is placed under the charge of a District Officer called the District Collector or
Deputy Commissioner, the king-pin of our administration. He is the chief representative of
the government in the district. The office is the result of a long process of evolution. Since
1772 when the office of district collector was created during the British regime, at that
time, he performed activities chiefly related to collection of land revenue, maintenance of
law and order, prevention of disorder, proper working of the police and jails, administration
of criminal justice and exercised appellate powers in some cases besides those to try
cases of special importance.
The office of the district collector ‘Admirably survive the historic role of change from
alien regime to a national one’. Since independence, its role has become increasingly
multidimensional. He belongs to the Indian administrative service. Article 50 of the
constitution separates the judiciary from the executive. There are now separate judicial
officers in the district and, therefore the collector no longer holds the same judicial authority
as he did earlier as a District Magistrate. Though, a lot has been said about the developmental
role of the Collector, the sad truth is that democratic decentralization in the form of
Panchayati Raj which preceded this role has curtailed his powers drastically in some
states. The Zilla Parishads, particularly, have emerged as separate centers of power, largely
independent of the collector. The emergence of several technical departments like labour,
agriculture, cooperatives etc are now controlled by a host of executive officers directly at
the state level, which has led to the reduction of the collector’s authority. Some of the
technical departments are headed by specialists and are relatively independent of the
collector. He has to deal with many political leaders and political parties which have enhanced
his responsibilities.
34.8.1 Role and Functions of District Collector
Revenue Functions :
District Collector is the head of the revenue administration of the district. His foremost
task is the assessment and collection of land revenue.
In this, he performs the following functions:
1. to collect land revenue.
2. to collect other government dues.
3. to distribute and recover taccavi * loans.
4. to maintain land records.
5. to collect rural statistics.
6. to exercise the power of land acquisition officer, i.e. acquiring land for purpose of
colonization, industry, slum clearance etc.
7. to implement land reforms.
8. to look after the welfare of the agriculturists.
9. to make an assessment of losses of crops and recommend relief during natural
calamities like fire, draught and flood etc.
Notes
365
Administrative Machinery at The Centre, States and District Levels
OPTIONAL MODULE - 2
Administrative System
in India
10. to supervise treasury and sub treasury.
11. to enforce Stamps Act.
12. to pay rehabilitation grant.
13. to manage government estates.
14. to hear revenue appeals against the orders of lower authorities.
15. to pay Zamindari Abolition compensation.
Taccavi – Advances made to the cultivators. These advances or loans of money is given
at the time of sowing or in a bad season or to enable them to extend their cultivation. This
loan has to be repaid when the crop is harvested.
Agricultural loans are distributed by the collector and his staff, relief works have to be
taken up on a very extensive scale in case of a famine, floods etc. Land acquisition is
another major responsibility of the collector. Due to various development projects, housing
schemes, slum clearance etc, land has to be acquired for public purposes. The collector is
responsible for this acquisition. He also maintains proper land records. He is responsible
not only for the maintenance of these records but also their revision from time to time. He
is the manager of government estates, government land, forests, water ways etc. In the
district lastly, he also hears appeals in revenue cases against the orders of lower courts.
The revenue work is a colossal task in itself and therefore, there are many subordinate
officers to assist him. In some of the states like Andhra Pradesh, another IAS officer
designated as the district revenue officer is appointed to assist the collector in his revenue
work.
34.8.2 Maintenance of Law and Order
In this capacity he is responsible for the maintenance of law and order in his district. Three
elements are involved i.e. – the police, the judiciary and the jails. As District Magistrate, he
performs the following functions :
1. To control and supervise the subordinate magistracy.
2. In case of threat to public peace, to order imposition under section 144 of the criminical
procedure code.
3. To inspect the jails.
4. To release prisoners on parole.
5. To grant superior classes to prisoners.
6. To submit an annual criminal report to the govt.
7. To grant, suspend or cancel many kinds of licenses like arms, hotels, explosives etc.
8. To control and direct the action of district police.
9. To enforce Entertainment Tax Act and Press Act.
10. To prosecute offenders under the Factories Act and Trade Mark Act.
11. To order disposal of unclaimed property.
Notes
366
Political Science
OPTIONAL MODULE - 2
Administrative System
in India
12. To recommend schemes for the development of forests.
13. To supervise and control local bodies.
He also acts in many ways as an agent of the judiciary. The executions of writs of the civil
and criminal courts, including criminal writs from courts outside the district, is normally
done through the magisterial elements of the district administration. He supervises the
subordinate magistracy and orders magisterial postings when required.
The District Jail is under his general control. He can visit the Jail from time to time to see
that all is well and ensure the expeditious disposal of cases of under-trial prisoners. He
deals with different problems connected with the Jail administration.
34.8.3 Co-ordinator of Different Departments/Offices
Formerly, the district collector used to be the coordinating agency in overall charge of
every important official activity in the district. After independence, several departments of
technical nature were setup. For example public health, public works, agriculture, irrigation,
education and cooperation. These are headed by specialists and are not under the supervision
of the collector. These have their own progrmames of development which they conduct on
their own without the interference of the collector. This has to some extent, weakend the
collectors role as a coordinating agency. Inspite of this, the entire team in a district has to
work with a sense of dedication in the same manner as a soldier on the battle front. The
district officer is still the commander who has to organize and coordinate the different
departments and achieve the target which must be clearly laid down. To emerge as a
successful coordinator, the collector must give each agency breathing space, remove bottle
necks, invoke the trust of the various departments in himself and bring out unity of purpose.
34.8.4 Crisis Management
During emergencies such as those caused by natural calamities, floods, famines, cyclones,
etc. or man made crises such as riots, fires, or external aggression, it is he who holds an
umbrella over the district. He also enforces civil defense measures, is responsible for the
protection of vital installations, prevents panic and performs a host of other crucial functions.
34.8.5 Development Functions
He has become a pivotal figure in the implementation of development programmes. In
many states, he is also designated as the District Development Officer. He is made
responsible for both regulatory and development administration. The great influence that
the collector wields in the district should be harnessed to the task of development. His
development role has become a focal point after the initiation of development planning in
India. Several programmes for the welfare and benefit of the down-trodden have been
started by the government. Rural development programmes aimed at eradicating poverty
and improving the living standards of the poor have